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Nurses take part in beach clean for VNAM
"Litter, especially plastics and fishing gear, can cause devastating and often life-threatening problems for our wildlife and eco system."

Plastic drinks caps among the most common rubbish items

Veterinary nurses took part in the first beach clean for Veterinary Nursing Awareness Month (VNAM) this year, clearing 27 bags of rubbish from Old Hunstanton Beach in Norfolk.

The beach clean, attended by over 40 people, was organised by BVNA Council member Jo Hinde and RVN Diane Westwood-Rowland.

“Veterinary nurses are often giving their very little spare time to causes that improve welfare for both humans and animals,” Jo Hinde said. “Beach cleans are a great example of this. Litter, especially plastics and fishing gear, can cause devastating and often life-threatening problems for our wildlife and eco system.

She added: “It was super to have the support of nurses and the general public on the day and help raise awareness of this problem as well as highlight some of the amazing things that veterinary nurses do.”

The most common waste items found during the beach clean were plastic caps from bottled drinks, cotton ear bud sticks and baby wipes. Other frequently found items were fishing netting, rope and monofilament lines, which can all be deadly to many animals.

Diane Westwood Rowland said: “The importance of the beach clean was highlighted when we sadly found two deceased animals, a seal and a gannet. We do not know what killed these beautiful creatures, but it reinforces the fact that humans need to wake up to the damage they are causing.”

There are plans to include the clean up in future VNAM campaigns and expand it to beaches across the UK.

Image © Jo Hinde
 

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.