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Vets urged to talk to clients about electric fences
BVA recognises that electric fences are necessary for many clients, but calls for more research into non-harmful alternatives.

BVA makes recommendations on safe and responsible use  

The BVA is encouraging vets to speak to their equine and farm clients about safe and responsible use of electric containment fences.

In a new position statement, launched this week, the BVA recognises that electric fences are necessary for many clients, but calls for more research into non-harmful alternatives for containing livestock and horses.

In the meantime, the organisation has made 13 recommendations to limit potential harm to humans and animals. Top tips include ensuring the strength of current is appropriate, maintaining batteries, attaching flags to fencing to make it visible and training animals to get used to fencing.

BVA president Simon Doherty said: “As vets, we know that electric containment fences are often a necessary part of rural life to allow animals to graze safely and efficiently. But we also recognise that they can harm or injure animals, especially if not correctly designed, installed or maintained.
 
“In our newly published position, we’re encouraging further research into alternative, non-harmful ways to contain livestock and horses. Until then, we’re supporting the responsible use of electric containment fences by providing vets with some top tips and references to kickstart conversations with their clients."

Summary of BVA recommendations:

  • signpost to best practice guidance such as: National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys and AHDB Electric fencing for livestock guidance
  • make sure the strength of current is appropriate for the species to avoid severe shocks
  • carefully maintain batteries used to power electric fences to avoid any damage that could cause leakage, environmental hazards or potential toxicity in livestock
  • attach flags to fencing or other visual markers to make sure that the fence is visible to livestock and horses
  • use highly visible tape- or rope-like electric fencing for horses
  • train livestock and horses so that they can get used to fencing in a controlled environment. Guidance on training livestock is available in the AHDB Electric Fencing for Livestock Guidance
  • quickly identify, monitor and remove animals who do not respond to training.

 

 

 

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.