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New ionising radiation regulations to come into force
Under the new 'graded approach', radiation employers will need to notify, register or get consent, depending on the level of risk involved in their work.
Practices will be required to register with HSE

Veterinary practices using diagnostic radiography will need to register with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), under new regulations coming into force from 1 January, 2018.

Those with multiple sites will only need to register once. Some sites may also be required obtain consent.

The Ionising Radiation Regulations 2017 (IRR17) are set to replace existing regulations (IRR99), which may impact the way veterinary practices work.

Some of the changes include*:

  • how you tell HSE that you work with ionising radiation
  • the dose limit for exposure to the lens of the eye - from 150mSv to 20mSv in a year
  • a requirement to put in place procedures to estimate doses to members of the public
  • recording and analysis of significant events, i.e radiation accidents
  • removing the subsidiary dose limit for the abdomen of a woman of reproductive capacity.
* List not necessarily exhaustive

Under the new 'graded approach', radiation employers - which will now be referred to as 'employers' - will need to notify, register or get consent, depending on the level of risk involved in their work.

Ionising radiation occurs as either electromagnetic rays (such as X-rays and gamma rays), or particles (such as alpha and beta particles). It occurs naturally, e.g. radon gas, but can also be produced artificially.

Veterinary practices are advised to contact their radiation protection adviser (RPA) for advice on how the new regulations may affect them. Further information can be found on:

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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News Shorts
BVA infographic to help shoppers understand farm assurance schemes

An infographic to help members of the public understand farm assurance schemes has been produced by the BVA. The infographic outlines BVA’s priorities for animal welfare and shows whether or not the schemes address these priorities in their standards.

BVA president John Fishwick said: “The infographic is not intended to be a league table but to allow people to understand what aspects of animal health and welfare are addressed by assurance schemes so that they can decide which scheme best aligns with their own individual preferences and priorities."