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Goats adapt more quickly to changing environmental conditions than sheep
Goats and sheep are very similar animals, however they differ greatly in the way that they forage.

Study suggests that goats 'are more cognitively flexible than sheep'.

A new study by researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) investigated how sheep and goats 'problem-solve' to navigate around obstacles to reach food.

Dr Christian Nawroth from FBN explains: “It is important that animals are able to react swiftly to a changing environment because this allows them to find and exploit new food sources.”

An experiment was set up with 21 goats and 28 sheep at the Agroscope research centre in Switzerland, Queen Mary University London (QMUL) and the Buttercups Sanctuary for Goats in Kent.

The experiment saw one animal at a time led to one end of a small enclosure, with a researcher stood at the opposite end offering food and a fence with a gap in-between the two.

The researchers examined the animals' behaviour and recorded the time it took them to reach the food. After a few attempts, they changed the position of the gap in the fence and repeated the test.

In the first round, goats managed to walk around the obstacle quickly and more easily, although sheep were faster on average. Both types of animals needed a few attempts to adjust to the new position of the gap in the second round, but made fewer mistakes after this.

“Goats appear to adapt better and more accurately to new situations and move with less perseveration around the obstacle when the gap has changed.” Said co-author Dr Britta Osthaus from Canterbury Christ Church University.

“This suggests that they are more cognitively flexible than sheep.” The researcher added that the reason for these differences could be differing foraging strategies, as sheep are foragers while goats are 'browsers', preferring buds and fresh shoots.

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VetCT app offered to students and new graduates

News Story 1
 The VetCT app is being offered for free to students and new veterinary graduates for their first three months in practice. The app provides a service for vets to send case information to a global team of Diploma-holding specialists, who can provide advice and support via instant call-back, text chat, written report, or virtual appointment.

Time on the app is automatically logged as CPD with quarterly certificates being generated for users. Additional services include the ability to book bespoke CPD, significant event reviews, and live training sessions such as surgical procedures.

The app is downloadable for both iOS and Android systems. 

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HORIBA to host CPD webinar

HORIBA has announced that it will host an online CPD meeting focusing on 'Exotic Parasites - The Importance of Testing in The Imported Dog'. Ian Wright (BVMS, MSc, MRCVS), head of ESCCAP UK and Ireland, will present on the importance of testing protocols in diseases of imported dogs.

The meeting will provide attendees with an overview of emerging veterinary diseases with a particular focus on exotic parasites, and discuss the importance of accurate testing protocols and equipment, alongside a final Q&A session.

The webinar will take place on Thursday July 1, from 19.30pm to 21.00pm BST. For free registration and more information visit the Horiba website or