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Concern over use of bits in royal horses’ mouths
Michael Fox urged the royal horse brigade to put animal welfare ahead of tradition.
Horses showed signs of ‘oral discomfort’ at Royal Wedding, vet says

A US vet has urged members of the royal family not to use bits in their horses’ mouths, after coverage of the Royal Wedding showed horses in ‘obvious oral discomfort’.

In a letter to Vet Record, Michael Fox said the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on Saturday (19 May), was ‘marred’ by the use of bits.

Commenting on the television coverage, he said: ‘Several horses were tossing their heads, mouthing and chomping and drooling in obvious oral discomfort’.

He added: ‘Whilst traditions die hard, especially in equine circles, let’s hope that this couple will extend their compassion to break the circle of anthropocentrism, and help ensure the humane treatment of all creatures great and small.

‘A British veterinary colleague has long established the inhumanity of the “snaffle-bit” and has developed a widely used bitless bridle for horses. Time for the Royal horse brigade to get with the times and put animal welfare and respect before blind tradition.’

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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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News Shorts
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.