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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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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.