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BSAVA Congress News Archive
Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo
12th February 2020
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.
Edinburgh Zoo reveals first look at giant anteater pup
6th February 2020
A giant anteater pup born at Edinburgh Zoo in November has been spotted for the first time riding on its mothers back.

It is expected to be a few months yet before the pup is large enough to move around independently. It will soon have its first health check and be weighed, sexed and named.

Edinburgh Zoo's head of carnivores Alison MacLean said, "Both mum and baby are spending a lot of time in their off-show area at the moment while the youngster grows.

"Giant anteaters are vulnerable to extinction in the wild, so every birth is a potential lifeline for the species."

The pup's mother, Nala, and father, Lucifer, arrived at the zoo in 2009. Since then they have produced two pups, a female born in 2010 and a male in October 2012. Both of which have moved on as part of the European breeding programme for giant anteaters.

Image (c) RZSS/Sian Addison
ZSL Whipsnade to run Vets in Action week for children
31st January 2020
ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is planning to hold a Vets in Action week this February half-term, inviting aspiring young veterinary surgeons to take part in a fun, hands-on experience managed by zoo staff.

This unique role-playing experience provides children with an opportunity to learn about the role of zoo veterinary staff, as well as what a day working in a zoo veterinary clinic is like.

At the zoo's specially created 'animal hospital', children will learn about various exotic animals and how to care for them. They will then be given the chance to carry out various veterinary treatments and examinations on soft toys.

A number of demonstrations and family activities are also available throughout the week, which will provide further insight into the zoo's 2,500 animals.
Hedgehog Street launches new app ahead of National Hedgehog Day
30th January 2020
A new app has been launched by Hedgehog Street, a national campaign ran by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (BHPS) and the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), to help bolster declining hedgehog populations.

Users will receive monthly advice and FAQs and can record sightings of wild hedgehogs, helping conservationists to understand where populations need help.

Hedgehog officer for the campaign, Grace Johnson explains: "We know hedgehogs are in trouble - we've lost 50 per cent of hedgehogs in rural areas since 2000, which is a staggering amount. But, there are ways that we can all help. Our monthly top tips [range] from leaving a shallow bowl of water out for thirsty 'hogs in the summer, to providing nesting materials and supplementary food before hedgehogs hunker-down for hibernation."

The 'Hedgehog Street' app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It launches ahead of National Hedgehog Day, celebrated on Sunday 2 February 2020.
Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020
14th January 2020
UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website.
British Hen Welfare Trust raises concerns about Brexit uncertainty
2nd January 2020
In a recent statement, the British Hen Welfare Trust (BHWT) discussed its concerns over the future of the British egg industry following Brexit.

The primary concern expressed in the statement is that if tariffs are removed - which the government has suggested will happen in the event of a no-deal Brexit - then a flood of cheaper eggs produced to lower standards will hit the UK market, as producers from countries where battery farming is legal will be able to undercut UK farmers.

BHWT, the NFU and the British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) have confirmed that they will continue to urge the government to preserve this important industry, through upholding animal welfare standards and protecting free range egg farmers.
Remembering much-loved cats
27th December 2019
Leading feline welfare charity Cats Protections has launched a new 'Paws to Remember' dedication page across its social media platforms, giving those who have lost their cats a space to share precious memories.

The campaign is running throughout the Christmas period on the charity's Twitter and Facebook channels. Those who want to remember a much-loved and missed cat are encouraged to upload a photo and make a donation if they wish to.
Equine vet scoops top farriery award
19th December 2019
Equine veterinary surgeon professor Renate Weller has won the Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF) Honorary Fellowship in recognition of her "outstanding contribution to the craft of farriery and the welfare of the horse".

Professor Weller received the award at a recent Court meeting in London. She is the 33rd recipient of the award, granted by the governing Court "to a person who has rendered distinguished service to the Company and/or the craft of farriery," since its introduction in 1923.

Renate said the award was a "total surprise", adding: "To be recognised within your own industry is one thing but to be recognised in such a special way by an allied profession is another. It is an amazing award and I am delighted to accept it".
Vets confirm further five cases of Alabama rot
12th December 2019
Anderson Moores Veterinary Specialists has confirmed a further five cases of Cutaneous Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy, also known as Alabama rot.

The cases have been confirmed in Wallingford (Oxfordshire), Horsham (West Sussex), Hungerford (Berkshire - two dogs) and Malmesbury (Wiltshire). It brings the total number of confirmed cases to 198 since 2012. There have been 23 cases so far this year.

Signs that a dog has been affected by the disease include skin lesions on the lower limbs or mouth/tongue, leading to kidney failure. While investigations into the cause of the condition are ongoing, owners are being urged to wash their dog after wet or muddy walks.
Cats Protection launches Christmas animation
26th November 2019
Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty's owner, Amy Smith, said: "Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her."
Regional Representatives nominations sought
19th November 2019
Seven new regional representatives are being sought by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to speak for vets from those regions and to represent their views to BVA Council.

The opportunities are available in in the North-East, Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, London, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Representatives from all sectors of the veterinary profession are urged to apply.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos, said: "Our regional representatives are integral to that mission and to the activities of Council - contributing to effective horizon scanning on matters of veterinary policy and providing an informed steer to BVA's Policy Committee."
New York to ban sale of foie gras
31st October 2019
New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill "tackles the most inhumane process" in the commercial food industry. "This is one of the most violent practices, and it's done for a purely luxury product," she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America's largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu.