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Smart litter tray to detect feline health problems
A smart litter tray for cats (not pictured) has been launched by Japanese electronics firm, Sharp.
Sharp’s Pet Care Monitor will go on sale in July

A Japanese electronics company is to begin selling a smart litter tray for cats that can detect health issues.

According to The Japan Times, Sharp’s Pet Care Monitor can automatically measure urine data and the weight of the cat to monitor problems. If any problems are found, the monitor will send an alert to the owner’s smartphone.

The product is Sharp’s first product exclusively for pets and is scheduled to go on sale in July. It uses artificial intelligence and “internet of things” (IoT) technologies - the network of computing devices in everyday objects.

“Pets are now considered as part of the family and IoT technology has been used little in the pet market,” Yoshisuke Hasegawa, a senior executive managing officer told Japan Times. “We joined the market with the aim of expanding our business and realising a ‘smart’ life.”

The tray keeps track of cats’ urine volume and frequency, weight and the amount of time spent on the toilet. If the tray detects any problems, such as the cat spending too much time going to the toilet, the device will send an alert to the owner's phone via an application called Cocoro pet.

If the owner has multiple cats, they can purchase a sensor that can be used together with the smart toilet for up to three cats.

The sensor will go on sale July 30 with a price tag of ¥24,800 ($226). A monthly fee of ¥324 will be charged for use of the smartphone app.

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Dogs Trust announces winners of vet student awards

News Story 1
 Cambridge vet student James Jewkes has been awarded first place in the annual Dogs Trust EMS Awards, for his paper on the threat of exotic infectious diseases in rehoming centres. James will now go on a two-week placement at the WVS International Training Centre in South India.

Each year the awards allow vet students to gain hands-on experience during work placements at 13 of the charity’s rehoming centres, then submit reports on a relevant subject.  

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Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemen’s Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: “I’m very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sport’s commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."