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New heart scheme for Cavaliers
Assessments will initially be carried out in groups by cardiologists, who will then grade the dogs using a pre-defined protocol.
Grading system to reduce risk of MVD

A new heart scheme has been launched to reduce the occurrence of mitral valve disease (MVD) in Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

The scheme has been launched by the Kennel Club, in collaboration with the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society (VCS) and the breed clubs.

Dogs will be assessed using a grading system that advises owners if their dog is affected by heart disease, and provides guidance to breeders on how to reduce the risk of producing affected puppies.

Assessments will initially be carried out in groups by cardiologists, who will then grade the dogs using a pre-defined protocol.

Hannah Stephenson, a cardiologist at VCS said: “With heart problems being the most prevalent condition in Cavaliers - Mitral Valve Disease is a condition that we see on a daily basis - the scheme is a great step forwards in improving the health of these dogs.

“Obtaining and centralising the data through this scheme will also go a long way in protecting the health of the breed and contributing to future research.”

Bill Lambert, senior health and welfare manager at the Kennel Club, added: “Developing the scheme collaboratively with the VCS and the breed club was crucial and we look forward to working alongside breeders, who we encourage to utilise and support the scheme.

“It is these people who are making the important decisions that determine the breed’s future and our job as the Kennel Club is to support them and offer them the tools to do this in a way that will improve the breed’s health.”

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.