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Vets urged to talk to clients about electric fences
BVA recognises that electric fences are necessary for many clients, but calls for more research into non-harmful alternatives.

BVA makes recommendations on safe and responsible use  

The BVA is encouraging vets to speak to their equine and farm clients about safe and responsible use of electric containment fences.

In a new position statement, launched this week, the BVA recognises that electric fences are necessary for many clients, but calls for more research into non-harmful alternatives for containing livestock and horses.

In the meantime, the organisation has made 13 recommendations to limit potential harm to humans and animals. Top tips include ensuring the strength of current is appropriate, maintaining batteries, attaching flags to fencing to make it visible and training animals to get used to fencing.

BVA president Simon Doherty said: “As vets, we know that electric containment fences are often a necessary part of rural life to allow animals to graze safely and efficiently. But we also recognise that they can harm or injure animals, especially if not correctly designed, installed or maintained.
 
“In our newly published position, we’re encouraging further research into alternative, non-harmful ways to contain livestock and horses. Until then, we’re supporting the responsible use of electric containment fences by providing vets with some top tips and references to kickstart conversations with their clients."

Summary of BVA recommendations:

  • signpost to best practice guidance such as: National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) Equine Industry Welfare Guidelines Compendium for Horses, Ponies and Donkeys and AHDB Electric fencing for livestock guidance
  • make sure the strength of current is appropriate for the species to avoid severe shocks
  • carefully maintain batteries used to power electric fences to avoid any damage that could cause leakage, environmental hazards or potential toxicity in livestock
  • attach flags to fencing or other visual markers to make sure that the fence is visible to livestock and horses
  • use highly visible tape- or rope-like electric fencing for horses
  • train livestock and horses so that they can get used to fencing in a controlled environment. Guidance on training livestock is available in the AHDB Electric Fencing for Livestock Guidance
  • quickly identify, monitor and remove animals who do not respond to training.

 

 

 

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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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UFAW Student Scholarships open for applications

Applications to the 2020 Animal Welfare Student Scholarships, run by the Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW), are now open.

The Student Scholarship scheme enables students to pursue their animal welfare interests and provides an opportunity to conduct relevant research projects. Students undertaking courses in the biological, psychological, agricultural, zoological or veterinary sciences are invited to apply. Applications are also open to students in other disciplines interested in conducting a project in animal welfare.

Further details about the scholarship and an application can be found on the UFAW website. The application form must be submitted to UFAW by 28 February 2020.