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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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News Shorts
BEVA survey seeks views about antibiotic use in horses

Equine vets are being invited to participate in a BEVA survey that aims to find out more about antimicrobial resistance in equine veterinary practice.

Designed by researchers at the University of Liverpool and incoming BEVA president Tim Mair, the survey aims to fill gaps in knowledge about how antimicrobials are being used in equine practice and the landscape of resistant infections encountered in equine practice.

Researchers hope the results will lead to a greater understanding of the role of antimicrobial treatment and antimicrobial resistance in horses and protect antibiotics for the future of equine and human health.