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Is this really a risk worth taking?
beagle and cat eating
A US study revealed 66 of 576 samples of raw dog or cat foods tested were positive for Listeria.

Should veterinary professionals be warning of the zoonotic risks of raw pet foods?

The Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has just published its ‘Food and You 2014’ survey report, based on information about peoples’ behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food safety issues. It should prompt veterinary professionals to consider the advice they give to clients about feeding raw meat and poultry to their pets.

The survey, based on a sample of 3,453 interviews, provides data on people’s reports of their food purchasing, storage, preparation, consumption and factors that may affect these, such as eating habits, influences on where respondents choose to eat out and experiences of food poisoning.

Eight out of ten respondents reported cleaning behaviours in line with recommended practices, saying they always washed their hands before starting to prepare or cook food and after handling raw meat, poultry or fish.

Around half (51%) of those who reported storing raw meat and poultry in the fridge reported practices in line with those recommended to avoid cross contamination; and 49 per cent said they always used different chopping boards for different types of food.

Set against this FSA report, an article published in the September edition of Foodborne Pathogens and Disease entitled, ‘Investigation of Listeria, Salmonella, and toxigenic Escherichia coli in various pet foods’, should ring some alarm bells.

It reported that 66 of 576 samples of raw dog or cat foods tested in the US were positive for Listeria, including 32 that were positive for L. monocytogenes. In addition, 15 of the samples were positive for Salmonella and two were positive for Shiga toxin-producing E coli.

Not surprisingly, the authors conclude that consumers should handle these products carefully, being mindful of the potential risks to human and animal health.

This article is the latest in a series of studies warning of the problems associated with the feeding of raw pet foods – perhaps the most comprehensive recent overview being provided by Lisa Freeman and others at the end of 2013
[JAVMA 243(11) December 1, 2013].

The BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) and RMB (Raw Meaty Bones) lobbies and proponents of prepared pet foods continue to debate the health implications of their particular approaches to nutrition and the respective weight of scientific supporting data.  

Irrespective of this, isn’t there a more fundamental question as to the wisdom of introducing potentially contaminated food sources into the kitchen, unnecessarily, in the first place? And shouldn’t veterinary professionals be taking the lead in warning clients about it?

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RCVS Fellowship applications open

News Story 1
 Applications have now opened for RCVS Fellowship 2022. The RCVS is encouraging anyone who would like to be considered for Fellowship to apply, and if successful, they will be welcomed into the Fellowship next year.

The process for joining the fellowship has changed slightly for this year, as applicants will now need two signed referee forms instead of three professional references, and five assessors will review each application instead of three.

The deadline for applications is 14 February 2022, and more information on how to apply can be found here. If applicants have any questions, or would like informal advice from previous successful applicants, they are encouraged to contact Ceri Via Email 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Horiba announces veterinary haematology webinar

Horiba Medical has announced a free webinar providing practical insight on best practice in veterinary haematology. Entitled 'In practice haematology - Beyond the pale!' the webinar will be presented by Ronnie Barron from the University of Glasgow Veterinary School.

Ronnie's presentation, which will conclude with a Q&A session, will look at QC and artefacts of sample quality and review the effects of different pathologies. Using images, photomicrographs and video links, he will also explain the techniques and equipment needed to complement analytical automation to confirm results quality.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, October 28 (7.30-9pm). For more details and to register, click here.