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Raw meat diets pose risk to human and animal health - study
Researchers found that 43 per cent of commercial raw food diets contained listeria.
Researchers find bacteria and parasites in raw dog and cat food

Pet owners should be informed about the risks associated with feeding their animals raw meat-based diets, a new study has concluded.

The research published in Vet Record analysed 35 commercial raw food diets across eight brands that are widely available in the Netherlands. It found that 43 of the products contained listeria, while 23 per cent contained E.coli.

Furthermore, the study found that 20 per cent of the products contained Salmonella, 11 per cent contained the parasite Sarcocystis cruzi and 6 per cent contained Toxoplasma gondii.

Paul Overgaauw from Utrecht University said: ‘Despite the relatively low sample size of frozen products in our study, it is clear that commercial RMBDs may be contaminated with a variety of zoonotic bacterial and parasitic pathogens that may be a possible source of bacterial infections in pet animals and, if transmitted, pose a risk for human beings.’

He adds that dogs and cats that consume raw meat diets are also more likely to become infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria than animals on conventional diets.

In light of their findings, the authors are warning pet owners to be aware of the risks of feeding their animals a raw-meat based diet. The paper outlines several ways in which pet owners can encounter such pathogens. For example, through direct contact with the food or with a contaminated pet.

They also stress that pet owners should be educated about personal hygiene and proper handling of raw meat diets. ‘Warnings and handling instructions should also be included on product labels and/or packages’, they advise.

The study, Zoonotic bacteria and parasites found in raw meat-based diets for cats and dogs, is available at http://veterinaryrecord.bmj.com/content/182/2/50

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”