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Puppy faeces needed to monitor antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Researchers are keen to learn how the places puppies are walked might effect the levels of antibiotic-resistanct bacteria in their guts.
Study to assess importance of the environment 

Puppy owners are being urged to send researchers samples of their pet’s faeces so that it can be monitored for antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

The One Health Selection and Transmission of Antimicrobial Resistance (OH-STAR) project is investigating how antibiotic-resistant E.coli might move between the environment, animals and humans.

Organised by the University of Bristol, the project seeks to find out if antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals are an important source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in people. It also hopes to reveal where animals get their antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria.

As part of the study, the team is collecting and analysing faecal samples from puppies which are not being walked in public places. They are then comparing the samples from the same puppies a month or so later when they have started going outside.

Researchers are keen to learn how the places puppies are walked might effect the levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in their guts. Project leader Dr Matthew Avison explains:

“Puppies might get their gut bacteria from their mothers, from the environment in which they are exercised, from other pets in the household, or from their owners. It may well be a combination of all these.

“We want to identify the importance of the environment as a source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria because dogs might be bringing these bacteria into the home. At the moment, we just don’t know.”

Masters student Kezia Wareham, who is keen to recruit as many puppies as possible, added: “We are excited to be able to work directly with puppy owners to help answer these important questions. If you have a young puppy and would be able to provide us with some poo, please do get in touch.”

The project is open to owners of puppies aged 12 weeks and under from North Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset, and surrounding areas. Puppy owners will be asked to complete a simple questionnaire and provide two faecal samples from their puppy.

For further information, contact the OH-STAR team, email: oh-star-project@bristol.ac.uk

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.