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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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Zoo calls for volunteers in its hour of need

News Story 1
 As ZSL London Zoo begins to get back on its feet, the organisation is putting out a call for volunteers who have time to help out. It comes after three months of unprecedented closure, which has seen zoos across the UK come under enormous financial pressure.

Volunteers will be required to commit to a minimum of half a day each fortnight, helping to assist zoo visitors as they make their way around. Volunteer manager Rhiannon Green said: "We need cheery, flexible people who can help visitors enjoy their day while respecting the measures that keep everyone safe.

For more information, visit zsl.org. Posts are available at both London and Whipsnade Zoos. 

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News Shorts
BSAVA webinars to shine the spotlight on selected journal papers

A free series of webinars that take a closer look at selected papers published in the Journal of Small Animal Practice has been produced by the BSAVA.

In the new BSAVA Science webinar series, authors of the featured papers discuss their results with a panel and how they may impact clinical practice. The authors then answer questions submitted by audience members.

The webinars are available via the BSAVA Webinar Library, covering four different papers. JSAP editor Nicola Di Girolamo, said: "Discussing the research with the authors - experts in their field - really helps to bring the papers to life."