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Students reach out to homeless pet owners
Students are donating the backpacks to visitors of the All4Paws veterinary clinic.

Vet school gifts backpacks containing vital supplies

Staff and students at the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies have launched an initiative to help vulnerable people and their animals this Christmas.

The team is handing out backpacks stuffed with items like basic toiletries, warm winter clothes, food and first aid supplies.

Students are donating the backpacks to visitors of the All4Paws veterinary clinic - a monthly drop-in centre where people living on the streets can access veterinary care for their animals.

Filled with donations from staff and students, the backpacks are also being gifted at Social Bite Supper events across the city.

Final year student Jamie-Leigh Thomson, who came up with the idea, has contributed to similar projects in recent years.

“I just wanted to try something that will help pet owners in need. The enthusiasm of the school and generosity has completely astonished me,” she said.

So far the team has given away more than 60 backpacks containing items for both men and women.

“This is a tremendous student-led project to support those less fortunate and their pets,” added Professor Susan Rhind, director of veterinary teaching at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.

“We are proud of their inspiring kindness and pro-activity. This is an excellent example of the entire Vet School community coming together to think of others during the festive period.”

Image (C) University of Edinburgh

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

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 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

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