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Lion cubs given first health check at London Zoo
The cubs were microchipped and vaccinated during the check up.
The cubs are part of an international breeding programme.

Three Asiatic lion cubs at London Zoo have undergone their first health check from the zoo’s veterinary team.

With the support of the keepers, the 10-weeks-old cubs were given a thorough check up in the comfort of their den. Their mother, Arya, had been let into one of her other dens to give the team space to work.

The team checked the health of the cubs and measured their vital statistics – using an empty tub when weighing them to avoid the problem of trying to get them to sit still on the scales.

The cubs were also vaccinated, microchipped and their sexes were confirmed. It was found that
Arya had given birth to two boys and one girl.

Their sexes and vital statistics will be uploaded to a global species database, shared with other zoos, as part of the international breeding programme to preserve the endangered species.

There are only around 600 to 700 Asiatic lions left in the wild, with the entire wild population living in the Gir Forest in Gujarat, India. In previous centuries, the species was found over a far greater area, from India in the east to Turkey in the west.

Head veterinary surgeon Amanda Guthrie said: “Their first health checks and vaccinations are really important.

“Not only do they allow us to assess their progress and boost their young immune system, but every opportunity to examine an animal as rare as these boosts our veterinary knowledge and expertise, which we can directly apply to animals we are protecting in the wild.”

Kathryn Sanders, a zookeeper at London Zoo, added: “Should natural disaster or disease lead to further decline of this endangered species, the international breeding programme ensures there is a healthy, genetically diverse population, which could help establish the lions in the wild.

“The addition of these three cubs at London Zoo is a fantastic conservation achievement.”

Image © ZSL/Luke Capeling

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.