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Vets urged to vaccinate rabbits against RHD-2
RHD2 is a devastating disease that is highly fatal to unvaccinated rabbits.

British Rabbit Council shares its concerns

Vets are being urged to make rabbit hemorrhagic disease type 2 vaccine (RHD-2) part of their core rabbit vaccination programme.

In a letter to Vet Record (Vol 181 No 19), Sarah Elliott of the British Rabbit Council and Richard Saunders of the Rabbit Welfare Association
share their concerns that some vets are telling owners that vaccination is not required.

They write: ‘We have been concerned to hear that, following breeders recommending that newly acquired pet rabbits are taken to their vet for vaccination, some owners are being told that this is not necessary.

‘A recurring conversation at rabbit shows and on public social media has been that pet rabbit owners know nothing about RHD-2 despite having their rabbits vaccinated yearly against myxomatosis and RHD-1.

‘We would also ask that if a breeder approaches a vet to source and provide vaccine for them that you assist with this. Some breeders have a large number of rabbits and we would ask that you offer a site visit to vaccinate their stock.’

RHD2 is a devastating disease that is highly fatal to rabbits that have not been vaccinated. Since it's discovery in the UK in 2010, the disease has spread throughout much of the country and is now more dominant than RHD-1.

In October 2016, following concerns over a lack of vaccine, the European Medicines Agency issued a marketing authorisation for the vaccine ERAVAC to reduce mortality. This was later followed by Filavic, which received its UK licence in April 2017.

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Survey seeks to learn about racehorse aftercare

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 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching a survey to improve understanding of aftercare for thoroughbreds. The survey has been emailed to trainers, who are asked to share their own experiences, with a focus on life after horses finish their racing careers. It forms part of an equine health and welfare strategy being developed by the BHA. 

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Charity welcomes new ambassadors

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has appointed the actor Anthony Head and renowned canine behaviourist, Sarah Fisher, as official ambassadors. They join existing ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Jacqueline Wilson.

Anthony is best known for his roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Iron Lady and Girlfriends. He has previously lent his voice to Battersea’s videos and appeals, as well as performing readings at the charity’s Christmas Carol Concert and Collars & Coats Gala Ball.

Meanwhile Sarah has worked across all three of the charity’s centres, offering advice in dealing with a variety of complex and challenging dogs. She has also fostered several Battersea animals and trained many members of staff in using the Tellington Touch method of training, to keep dogs calm and relaxed.