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New project to improve care of wounds in horses
It is hoped that the analysis will result in new freely-accessible educational resources.
Horse owners asked to collaborate with researchers 

Vets are asking horse owners to take part in a new project to improve the management of skin and flesh wounds in horses.

The Equine Wound Project was launched online by the University of Nottingham and the British Horse Society.

Although wounds are a common emergency problem in horses, there is currently no clear guidance for owners on which types need to be treated by a vet, how long different wounds take to heal, or if the horse will return to normal work. As a result, it can be difficult for owners to make informed decisions.

Horse owners are being asked to submit information, including photos, about their horse’s initial wound, as well as the subsequent assessment, treatment and healing outcome. This will allow researchers to capture information on a wide range of injuries.

It is hoped that the analysis will result in new freely-accessible educational resources to support decision making, and improve owners’ recognition and care of wounds.

Masters student, Richard Birnie, who will be working on the project for the next 12 months, said: “During my third-year research project dissertation on equine wounds, I could see that this is a research area that urgently requires more focused studies.

“Wounds have been described as the second most commonly treated condition in equine practice, so I found the significant lack of evidence-based data surprising. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to conduct a year-long study on equine wounds working closely with The BHS and horse owners.

“Valuable data collected could be the beginnings of important findings that could have widespread impacts on how both vets and owners manage and treat wounds in the future, ultimately aiming to improve the health and welfare of horses."

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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.