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World Horse Welfare webinars return with arthritis session
A series of expert-led horse welfare webinars will run every Wednesday from November- March.
The webinars will run every Wednesday this winter.

World Horse Welfare’s Welfare Wednesday Webinars are set to return from November, with expert-led sessions on different aspects of horse welfare.

The first session, on 1 November, will be presented by equine diagnostic imaging expert Dr Merry Smith, and will discuss how arthritic changes can be managed in ridden horses.

The webinar, hosted on Zoom, will explore how arthritic changes commonly affect ridden horses and the potential causes of this affliction. It also addresses the ways that horse owners can minimise the risks of arthritis in their horse, and effectively manage the condition if it develops.

As well as affecting older horses, World Horse Welfare says it is also being seen in younger horses.

The session will conclude with a live Q&A with Dr Smith, where the audience will be invited to ask any questions on the topic.

Dr Merry Smith has studied specialised surgical training in both the USA and UK, as well as completing her PhD on equine diagnostic imaging. In 2013, Dr Smith set up her own independent equine teleradiology service and now works as a freelance equine diagnostic imaging and surgery consultant.

Dr Smith’s session on arthritis launches a series of horse welfare webinars which will run every Wednesday from November- March. Other expert-led sessions will include nutrition, sleep, training methods and managing ulcers.

The Welfare Wednesday Webinar series was first offered in 2020 as a way to bridge the gap between current research, experts and horse owners. The sessions include accessible, practical advice and guidance which is suitable for everyone, from new horse-owners to industry professionals.

All of World Horse Welfare’s previous webinars, including topics such as horse fitness, mental wellbeing, biosecurity and euthanasia, are available on their website.

This year’s webinars are free to attend via Zoom, where viewers can partake in various polls, ask questions and enjoy an interactive experience. They will also be available on Facebook Live.

Dr Smith’s webinar, Managing arthritis changes in ridden horses will take place from 7pm on 1 November. To register for free, follow this link.

Image © Shutterstock

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."