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Further work needed on telemedicine trial - RCVS Council
The trial will aim to assess the risks and benefits of remotely prescribing POM-Vs without a physical examination of the animal.
Proposed trial referred to Standards Committee for development 

A telemedicine trial proposed by the RCVS is being referred to the Standards Committee for further development, following a vote at the most recent council meeting.

The trial will aim to assess the risks and benefits of remotely prescribing prescription-only veterinary medicines (POM-Vs), when there has been no physical examination of the animal.

A number of council members raised concerns about the potential animal welfare implications of the trial. Issues raised included how the provision of 24/7 emergency care and pain relief would be affected, the implications for antimicrobial resistance and how the trial could affect the definition of an animal ‘being under his or her care’.

Council members also discussed the potential benefits of telemedicine, such as extending the reach of vets and empowering clients. Additionally, as the technology is already developing, it is essential that the college remains on the front-foot.

The Standards Committee will now consider the points made, alongside the parameters and scope of the trial. A further consultation will also be carried out with a number of external stakeholders to inform a more detailed proposal, which will come back to council for discussion at a later date.

Amanda Boag, RCVS president, said: “This was a very important and necessary debate and I appreciate that passions were, quite rightly, very high in relation to such a fundamental issue as remote prescribing where an animal has not been physically examined.
 
“I appreciate all the contributions that were made and the Standards Committee now has a clear steer as to the further work it needs to conduct before bringing the proposed trial back to a future meeting of Council.” 

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”