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Antimicrobial resistance
Research has shown that veterinary nurses have a much higher level of infection from methicillin-resistant strains of bacteria than the general UK population.
We have reached crisis point

"It's a really scary situation at the moment!" was Matt Barnard's opening gambit as he spoke at the BVNA Congress on the subject of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

He highlighted that AMR is present in every country in the world and he gave some dramatic examples – for example, carbapenem is no longer effective against Klebsiella pneumonia in hospitals and resistant strains of TB are increasing at an exponential rate worldwide.

Pharmaceutical companies do not have any real incentive to develop novel antibiotics because of the time that it takes to research, develop and licence them; the short time during which they are licensed exclusively before generic versions emerge; and the relatively small market globally for this class of medicine. Governments are particularly poor at providing realistic funding for antimicrobial products too, apparently preferring to fund high-profile, vote-catching projects.

"As nurses," Matt said, "we have to be aware of the dynamic exchange of resistant strains of bacteria that occurs in veterinary practice – from patient to patient, from the environment to the patient, and, importantly, between nurses and the patients." Research has shown that veterinary nurses have a much higher level of infection from methicillin-resistant strains of bacteria than the general UK population. It is now an occupational hazard.

Barrier nursing is, therefore, essential. It may be time consuming but it is critical and must be given top priority and the time that it needs. "Don't let the vets rush you," said Matt as he spent time with the audience going through all the items in practice that harbour infection and are agents for its spread.

In summary, Matt explained that veterinary nurses have a duty to:
• improve client awareness and understanding of the problems associated with AMR
• strengthen their knowledge (and that of their clients) and adopt an evidence-based approach to practice
• reduce the incidence of cross-infection in practice through effective sanitation and barrier nursing
• optimise the use of antibiotics.

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Gucci pledges to go fur-free

News Story 1
 Italian fashion house Gucci has announced that it will no longer use animal fur in its designs. Gucci’s president & CEO Marco Bizzarri made the announcement on Wednesday (October 11) at The London College of Fashion.

The move follows a long-standing relationship with The Humane Society of the United States and LAV - members of the international Fur Free alliance. Gucci’s fur-free policy includes mink, coyote, raccoon dog, fox, rabbit, karakul and all other species bred or caught for fur.  

News Shorts
Avian flu text alert service launched in Northern Ireland

A new text system to alert bird keepers to the threat of avian flu has been launched in Northern Ireland. The service will enable bird keepers to take action to protect their flock at the earliest opportunity.

Keepers who have already provided NI's Department of Agriculture with a valid mobile number have automatically been subscribed to the service and notified by text. Bird keepers who have not yet received a text should text ‘BIRDS’ to 67300 to register.