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Study highlights risks of feeding a raw meat diet
"The results obtained in this study show that it is highly important to handle RMBD carefully."
Raw dog foods found to contain high levels of bacteria

The potential health risks of raw meat-based diets (RMBD) to both animals and humans have been highlighted in a new study.

A paper published in Vet Record, concludes that dogs in families with young or immunocompromised individuals should not be fed RMBD, as these groups are more susceptible to infections.

In the study, researchers analysed frozen samples from 60 RMBD from 10 different manufacturers. According to the labels, the products originated from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Germany and the UK.

Unlike processed pet foods, the samples had not undergone any drying or heat treatment before freezing.

The researchers found that all 60 samples contained enterobacteria, with 31 of these samples exceeding the threshold set by EU regulations (5,000 bacteria per gram).

They also found that two of the samples contained levels of C.perfringens that exceeded the maximum level permitted by Swedish National Guidelines (5,000 bacteria per gram).

Furthermore, four of the samples contained salmonella - a figure that was higher than the researchers expected - and three of the samples contained campylobacter.

“The results obtained in this study show that it is highly important to handle RMBD carefully and to maintain good hygiene, due to the potential risks these feeds pose to human and animal health,” say the researchers.

“The RMBD should be kept frozen until used, thawing should take place at a maximum of 10°C and the thawed product should be separated from human food and handled with separate kitchen equipment, or with the equipment properly washed after use.”

The researchers note that dogs should not be fed RBMD while they are being treated with antimicrobials as this could increase the risk of resistant strains been selected and multiplying.

The study was carried out by researchers at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the Swedish National Veterinary Institute. 

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”