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Veterinary workshop seeks to improve safety in horse racing
Currently radiography is the most widely available tool used in identifying tiny fractures which can heal effectively.

Discussions to inform pre-race risk assessments

In a two-day collaborative workshop, veterinary professionals and racing industry stakeholders met to discuss current and potential technologies used in pre-empting injuries to the racehorse fetlock. These injuries are thankfully rare, but can still be extremely impactful and potentially career-ending for some injured horses.

The first day of the workshop saw the meeting of a panel of veterinary professionals, who reviewed existing knowledge on the use of diagnostic imaging in risk reduction, as well as discussing the potential of advanced imaging such as MRI, standing CT and PET scanning to identify pathology even earlier.

The panel also assessed how best to generate research evidence which would advance the adoption of these novel technologies in effective pre-race risk assessment programmes.

On the second day of the workshop, a larger group of stakeholders reviewed the previous day’s conclusions and acknowledged the need for greater education, collaboration and transparency among racing industry stakeholders in order to uphold and advance racehorse safety and welfare.

Prof Celia Marr, editor of Equine Veterinary Journal, who chaired the meeting said: “Racing has an excellent safety record and the injuries we are talking about are extremely rare. The low prevalence of fetlock injury makes it very difficult to pinpoint the affected individuals. But it is essential that we continue our efforts to do so ever more effectively because if silent injury is not detected it can progress to become much more serious.”

Pete Ramzan, partner at Rossdales LLP, who co-ordinated the workshop said: “There was a great need to get some of the key experts leading these new technologies together in the same room to correlate their findings and work out how to translate them into tangible reductions in serious injury rates.

"One of the somewhat unexpected outcomes of the discussions was that despite the fact that we are riding the crest of a wave of technological advances, basic radiography still has much to offer; better education around the application and interpretation of radiographs has real potential to allow vets like myself at the coal face to detect injuries at an early and recoverable stage."

Image (c) Dr P. Ramzan, Rossdales LLP.

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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for three months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact gorgie@l-o-v-e.org.uk