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Study confirms value of Ridden-Horse-Ethogram for detecting pain
There was no significant difference between real-time scores and video-based scores for the experienced assessor.
Tool could help vets communicate more effectively with clients

Veterinary professionals that have been trained to use a Ridden-Horse-Ethogram are better able to identify pain-related behaviour in horses, according to new research.

It is hoped that the finding, published in Equine Veterinary Education, will allow vets to better communicate performance-related problems more efficiently with their clients.

In the study, researchers compared the real-time application of the Ridden-Horse-Ethogram with analysis of video recordings of the horses.

The videos were then analysed by a trained assessor and determined if vets, who had been trained, could apply the ethogram in real time in a consistent way and in agreement with an experienced assessor.

Researchers found there was no significant difference between real-time scores and video-based scores for the experienced assessor, confirming the reliability of the system.

“The study confirms that with basic training veterinary observers can use the ridden horse ethogram with consistency as an effective tool to help identify musculoskeletal pain which could reflect lameness or back or sacroiliac pain,” said study leader Dr Sue Dyson, head of clinical orthopaedics at the Animal Health Trust.

“The volunteers were unanimously positive about the potential value of the ethogram in helping them to determine the presence of musculoskeletal pain in horses performing poorly or at pre-purchase examinations.”

Dr Dyson and her team are now working with the US evidence-based online learning resource, Equiptopia, to produce a training video to enable vets, owners, riders and trainers to learn how to apply to Ridden-Horse-Ethogram. To find out more email info@equitopiacenter.com

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Big Butterfly Count returns

News Story 1
 The world's biggest survey of butterflies is back for 2020!

Butterfly Conservation's Big Butterfly Count launches on Friday, 17 July and will run until Sunday 9 August. Members of the public can get involved by downloading the Big Butterfly Count App or recording results on a downloadable sheet available from bigbutterflycount.org/.

'It's a fantastic activity for people from three to 103 years and we'd encourage everyone to take 15 minutes in an appropriate outdoor space during sunny conditions to simply appreciate the nature around them and do their bit to help us understand butterfly populations,' said a Butterfly Conservation spokesperson. 

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News Shorts
New appointment at Dechra

Dechra Veterinary Products Ltd (Dechra) has announced a key appointment to support veterinary professionals across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Karen Hockley has been appointed as a telesales account manager and will provide the latest products, news and developments from Dechra. She joins the company from a large mixed practice in Northern Ireland where she was the branch manager.

Before that, Karen had worked for a multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company as a key account manager for Northern Ireland. She can be contacted at karen.hockley@dechra.com or 087 219 54 30.