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Living close to livestock reduces allergy risk
Protection tied to living close to a farm was strongest for those who lived near cattle or pigs.
Protection close to those who lived near cattle or pigs

Living close to livestock appears to reduce the risk of allergies, according to new research.

The study, published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, found that people who lived within 327 meters (1,073 feet) of a farm were less likely to experience allergies compared to those living more than 500m (1,640 feet) away.

Researchers found similar results when they looked specifically at pig and cattle farms.

Speaking to news agency Reuters, senior author Lidwien Smit of Utrecht University said: "For 20 years, a large number of studies have shown that allergies are less prevalent in farmers and farmers' children.

“Farming is actually one of the few environmental exposures consistently linked to respiratory allergies. It's important because the number of people affected by respiratory allergies has sharply increased over the last few decades."

More than 2,400 participants submitted blood samples to the study, which were analysed for allergy antibodies to cats, dogs, dust mites and grass. The researchers also used weather and geographic data to ascertain the distance of each person’s home from neighbouring farms, the types of animals on those farms, and to estimate dust emissions.  

They report that around 30 per cent of participants had allergies, mostly to grass and house dust mites. About a third of the participants had lived on a farm during childhood.

The team notes that protection tied to living close to a farm was strongest for those who lived near cattle or pigs, as well as those who grew up on a farm. 

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ISFM announces first veterinary nurse conference

News Story 1
 The International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) - the veterinary division of International Cat Care - has announced its first annual conference dedicated to veterinary nurses. The day offers an opportunity to meet up with colleagues and enjoy more than five hours of stimulating CPD.

The conference is being held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Stratford-Upon-Avon, on Saturday 15 September 2018. Tickets are £95 per person and include lunch, coffee breaks, downloadable proceedings and CPD certificate. For details and to book your place visit  

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News Shorts
WSAVA awards Australian vet with 'Next Generation’ award

Australian vet Dr Guyan Weerasinghe has been crowned winner of the WSAVA ‘Next Generation’ Veterinary Award. The award recognises those who graduated within the last 10 years and have made a significant contribution to the welfare of companion animals and the veterinary profession as a whole.

Besides maintaining a small animal caseload, Dr Weerasinghe works for the Queensland Government’s Department of Agriculture where he is involved with animal disease surveillance and increasing the public health risks in veterinary practice. He also collaborates on various One Health projects across Australia and gives regular talks on the impact of climate change on animal health and welfare.

Dr Weerasinghe will receive his award at the WSAVA World Congress 2018 (25-28 September).