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Figures show further reduction in campylobacter levels
An average of 4.5 per cent of chickens tested positive for the highest level of campylobacter contamination.
Retailers publish their testing results for October to December 2017

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has thanked retailers for their work to reduce campylobacter levels in chicken.

Nine top retailers in the UK have published their testing results on campylobacter contamination in fresh whole chickens for the period October to December 2017.

The figures show that an average of 4.5 per cent of chickens tested positive for the highest level of campylobacter contamination (those carrying more than 1,000 colony-forming units per gram cfu/g). In the previous quarter (July to September), the figure for the highest level of contamination was 5.1 per cent - a fall of more than 0.6 per cent.

The FSA says that the fall builds on results released by retailers in November 2017, with the overall trend continuing to show a reduction in the highest levels of contamination.

“It’s good to see that levels of campylobacter found continue on a downward trend. We will continue to monitor the results and procedures of the major retailers and encourage them to maintain the significant progress made so far,” said FSA director of policy and science, Michael Wright.

“We would like to thank the British Retail Consortium and the retailers for continuing to take the issue of campylobacter seriously and for working together to coordinate the publication of their results. We are actively working across smaller poultry businesses so that they can also contribute to reducing campylobacter levels.”

The FSA has been testing chicken for campylobacter since February 2014 as part of a campaign to bring together the whole food chain to tackle the problem. In September 2017, the organisation announced that retailers would be carrying out their own sampling and publishing their results under strict protocols set out by the FSA.

The nine retailers that submitted their campylobacter results were Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose.

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Charity reveals it treated thousands of pets with dental issues last year

News Story 1
 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has revealed that its veterinary team performs dental procedures on more than 170 animals every month. Last year the charity says it extracted hundreds of teeth from more than 800 animals and carried out thousands of routine scales and polishes.

To combat the problem, Battersea is urging pet owners to get regular dental checks at their vets, implement a daily oral care routine, feed a good dental chew and only give toys that are designed for dogs, including gentle rubber toys that are less wearing on the teeth. 

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Voting opens for RCVS council elections

Eligible veterinary surgeons can now vote in this year’s RCVS Council elections. Four out of the 10 candidates are already on council and are standing for re-election: David Catlow, Mandisa Greene, Neil Smith, Susan Paterson. The remaining six candidates are not currently on council: John C Davies, Karlien Heyman, John Innes, Thomas Lonsdale, Matthew Plumtree and Iain Richards.

Further information on the candidates can be found on the RCVS website: