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SRUC awarded mental health research grant
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded more than £20,000 to fund research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.
Research aims to “break the cycle of negative thoughts” in the farm animal sector

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded more than £20,000 to fund research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.

The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant was awarded to SRUC at RCVS Day on Friday 12 July. Behavioural scientist Dr Kate Stephen will lead the project and undertake the majority of qualitative data collection and analysis.
 
“It is an honour to be awarded this grant," said Dr Stephen. "We hope our project will make a positive contribution towards understanding and improving the mental health and wellbeing of individuals in the veterinary profession."

The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant is named after an elected RCVS Council member who tragically passed away in 2017. It provides funding for research focussed on mental health within the veterinary professions, including areas such as prevention, diagnosis, intervention and treatment.

“While nothing can replace Sarah, I am glad that, with the blessing of her family, we have been able to launch these grants and, indeed, find a worthy recipient," commented Professor Stuart Reid, chair of the Mind Matters Initiative.
 
“We were very impressed with SRUC’s proposal because it focused on farm animal veterinary sector, an area of practice that can be harder to address when it comes to mental health support, but which has significant challenges that research has demonstrated can put strains on the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary surgeons.

“For example, some farm vets have cited isolation, the challenging nature of some aspects of the job and the great responsibility it carries for the livelihood of farmers and rural communities as being particularly stressful.”

He added: ‘The SRUC research has the very laudable aim of identifying how to better promote job satisfaction and to break the cycle of negative thoughts and poor mental wellbeing identified amongst farm vets, and so we are very glad to have made this award to the team.

“It’s only by improving the veterinary mental health evidence base that we will be able to hone the interventions and support that is available to members of the veterinary team.”

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.