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Cribbing ‘more likely down to stress than gastric discomfort’
‘It is plausible that there is no direct inherent link between crib biting equine gastric ulceration syndrome – rather that both conditions are linked to environmental and physiological stress.'
Study explores stomachs of crib-biting and non crib-biting horses 

Cribbing is more likely to be a response to stress than gastric discomfort in horses, scientists have said.

A research team from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) examined 42 horse stomachs collected from an abattoir - half of which came from crib biters.

Researchers tested for the presence for ulcers, stomach PH levels and the hormone gastrin, which stimulates the production of stomach acid. According to the results, which were published in the Journal of Veterinary Behaviour, there was no anatomical or physiological difference between the two sets of stomachs.

‘It is plausible that there is no direct inherent link between CB (crib biting) and EGUS (equine gastric ulceration syndrome) rather that both conditions are linked to environmental and physiological stress,’ the authors wrote.

Lead researcher Dr Simon Daniels is quoted by Horse and Hound as saying: “…in both humans and horses gastric ulceration is associated with stress - both environmental stressors and physiological stress, such as from increased free radical production and too few antioxidants.

“Similarly crib-biting behaviour is understood to be a stress coping mechanism for horses. These horses display higher levels of free radicals and reduced antioxidant defences, which is a sign of physiological stress, when compared to non crib-biting horses.”

If there is a link between crib-biting and gastric ulceration, Dr Daniels said that “management of horses that suffer with these conditions - for example by giving nutritional antioxidant support and reducing environmental stress by changing housing or turnout arrangements - may be beneficial in the welfare of this specific group of horses.”

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Pair of endangered Amur leopard cubs born at Colchester Zoo

News Story 1
 Keepers at Colchester Zoo are hailing the arrival of a pair of critically endangered Amur leopard cubs.

The cubs were born to first-time parents Esra and Crispin on the 9 September. This is the first time the Zoo has bred Amur leopard cubs on-site.

Amur leopards originate from the Russian Far East and north-east China. In the wild they are threatened by climate change, habitat loss, deforestation and the illegal wildlife trade.

The cubs are said to be “looking well” and are expected to emerge from their den in a few weeks.  

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RCVS names Professor John Innes as chair of Fellowship Board

Professor John Innes has been elected chair of the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Board, replacing Professor Nick Bacon who comes to the end of his three-year term.


Professor Innes will be responsible for making sure the Fellowship progresses towards fulfilling its strategic goals, determining its ongoing strategy and objectives, and reporting to the RCVS Advancement of the Professions Committee on developments within the Fellowship.