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Charity highlights brachycephaly in cats
Rucca's eye had become irreparebly damaged due to chronic ulceration.

Battersea takes in six ‘flat-faced’ cats at its London rescue centre

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is raising awareness of the health issues faced by brachycephalic or ‘flat-faced’ cats.

The charity says that cats, much like their canine counterparts, are needlessly suffering because they have been bred to look a certain way. The warning comes after Battersea took in six brachycephalic cats at its London Rescue centre, with all but the youngest two requiring medical treatment.

Head vet Shaun Opperman said: “At Battersea, we treat our animals for a wide variety of health issues, a number of which are specifically related to how these animals have been bred to look. In an apparent quest to make them look increasingly photogenic or fashionable, these cats can sadly spend their whole lives suffering with a range of health problems ranging from matted fur and eye infections to difficulty breathing and degenerative diseases.”

Four-year-old Persian CeeCee is currently awaiting at Battersea’s London cattery for surgery to help her breathe. When CeeCee first arrived, she was suffering from excessively watery eyes and matted fur.  

It did not take staff long to notice that whenever CeeCee moved, her breathing became laboured. Vets are now considering whether to operate on the CeeCee’s nose to widen her nostrils in a bid to make breathing easier for her.

The same vets recently performed surgery on a male four-year-old Persian named Rucca (pictured) to remove one of his eyes, which had become irreparably damaged due to chronic ulceration.

Shaun added: “If it weren’t for the unrelated circumstances that brought these cats to Battersea, they would have potentially continued suffering for the rest of their lives, possibly without their owners ever believing anything was wrong. With many of the pedigree cats that are brought to us, we can see that the owners clearly loved their pets, however, their lack of breed knowledge means that they have unknowingly neglected their care, such as not grooming often enough or failing to consult a vet at the right time.

“As with any type of cat, pedigrees can, of course, make wonderful pets for the right owners, however, we would urge anyone thinking of adding a cat to the family to first consider adopting from a rescue like Battersea."

Image (C) Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

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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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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.