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Love Island star praised for raising awareness of BOAS
"Celebrity influence has played a huge role in explosion in popularity of flat-faced dogs."
Olivia Bowen Buckland has urged people to do their research

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has praised reality television star Olivia Bowen Buckland for raising awareness of Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) in dogs.

In a Twitter post, the 2016 Love Island contestant urged people to do their research before getting a bulldog or pug. Her Tweet came after her French bulldog Reggie underwent surgery to help him breathe more easily.

“I’m so shocked at how many bulldog/pug owners don’t know anything about the breed they own or in particular BOAS. It actually baffles me,” she told her 519,000 followers. “We knew this day may come Reggie & we knew what it may cost. Brachycephalic breeds are not easy. Educate.”

The internet celebrity also shared some advice for prospective dog owners:

“I truly truly recommend 100% researching as many breeds as you can to find the perfect one for your lifestyle & family & home. I get so upset seeing the amount of difficult breeds being given up when a little bit of research could of raised alarm bells.”

BVA junior vice president Daniella dos Santos said: “Celebrity influence has played a huge role in explosion in popularity of flat-faced dogs, so it is welcome to see a reality TV star with millions of social media followers start a conversation around the serious health issues many of these breeds suffer from.

“Responsible pet ownership begins even before getting a pet, which is why it is commendable that Mrs Bowen Buckland has asked her fans to always do their research first.”

She added: “We hope that Mrs Bowen Buckland’s example will inspire more celebrity owners of pets with breed-related health and welfare issues to speak out.”

BVA’s Summer 2017 Voice of the veterinary Profession Survey found almost half of vets believed their clients who chose brachycephalic dogs were influenced by social media (49%) or their favourite celebrities (43%). But celebrity brachycephalic dog owners, such as Zoe Sugg, David Beckham and Lady Gaga, are often unaware of the health issues faced by these breeds.

More than half of the brachycephalic dogs seen by vets in Summer 2017 (56%) required treatment for skin problems, breathing difficulties, dental issues or eye ulcers. However, vets reported that just 10 per cent of brachycephalic dog owners could recognise their dog’s breed-related health issues.

A further 75 per cent were unaware of these problems before deciding on the breed.

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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.