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BVA urges pet owners to protect animals during fireworks season
"With professional input, owner commitment and patience, a phobia of fireworks can be effectively treated." - Daniella Dos Santos, BVA senior vice president.

Association concerned about a rise in unregulated displays amid COVID-19 restrictions

The BVA is advising pet owners and livestock keepers to take steps now in order to minimise stress and possible injury to their animals during traditional fireworks dates such as Bonfire Night, Diwali and New Year’s Eve.

The BVA is particularly concerned about the negative impacts of fireworks on animals this year because, although COVID-19 restrictions have led to the cancellation of many official events, the association worries that this could in turn lead to an increase in unregulated backyard displays.

A survey conducted by the BVA in 2018 showed that approximately one in 14 veterinary surgeons across the UK reported seeing animals with firework-related injuries over the previous year. Typically, these injuries were sustained as a result of fear responses caused by fireworks, such as horses bolting from their fields or dogs chewing furniture.

The BVA is encouraging vets to help owners understand the common signs of distress that their animals may display during fireworks season, as well as some of the simple ways to protect animals during these celebrations.

Daniella Dos Santos, BVA senior vice president said: “We’d encourage pet owners and livestock keepers to consult with their vet as far in advance as possible to discuss management and treatment options, which may include noise desensitisation techniques, applying pheromone products around the house, and preparing a ‘safe place’ for animals.

“With professional input, owner commitment and patience, a phobia of fireworks can be effectively treated with appropriate behaviour-modification techniques. In more severe cases, vets may also prescribe medications to help pets struggling with fireworks distress.”

For more information visit the BVA website.

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AWF Student Grant Scheme opens for applications

News Story 1
 The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications to its 2021 Student Grant Scheme for innovative projects designed to impact animal welfare. The scheme welcomes proposals from undergraduates studying veterinary and animal welfare degrees, but students from other disciplines are also welcome to apply.

Grants will fund projects on animal welfare topics that are relevant to the veterinary profession and help develop the student's skills as a researcher. This year, the AWF is also accepting projects which are carried out alongside EMS so long as they are supervised. For more information and to apply, visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk 

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News Shorts
Bristol Vet School announces new PhD Studentship opportunities

Bristol Veterinary School has announced four new PhD Studentship opportunities with a focus on cattle welfare. The projects include:

Developing a novel approach to improve the welfare of dairy cows; The impact of early life programming on resistance to helminths in ruminant livestock; The impact of change and the ability to deal with it on an individual's affective state and welfare; Harnessing 3D cameras and deep learning for on-the-fly automated body condition and mobility analysis to improve cattle welfare.

For more details and how to apply, visit the University of Bristol's website.