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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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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at karen.hockley@dechra.com or 087 219 54 30.