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NOAH launches vision for animal health and welfare
NOAH's ambition for the development of a new chapter in UK agriculture policy

Paper presented at One Health conference in London

At its ‘One Health’ conference in London, the National Office for Animal Health (NOAH) has set out the association’s ambition for the development of a new chapter in UK agriculture policy.

By providing vision and a framework, it identifies what needs to be done to improve the health and welfare of UK livestock and how it can be delivered – placing animal health at its heart to deliver key benefits for all.

Vision for UK Animal Health and Welfare – Agriculture Policy that’s fit for the future puts forward recommendations that include:

  • animal health – tackling endemic disease
  • help for farm infrastructure and equipment
  • investing in farm staff
Presenting the paper, NOAH chair, Jamie Brannan, said: “We believe that taking an animal health perspective delivers benefits in terms of welfare, productivity, sustainability and resilience of farms – all helping farmers to prepare for changes in trading outside the EU. Our overall priority is to help secure a sustainable long-term future for farming and the rural economy.

“We know there are challenges – for example, static productivity levels and a lack of national co-ordination and forward momentum for endemic disease control and monitoring needs to be addressed. But we believe there is a wealth of experience and expertise in farm animal health in the UK and we now have an unprecedented opportunity to tackle these challenges and guide animal health and welfare towards an achievable vision.

“Our paper sets out a holistic approach, because we believe no single action is going to deliver proper forward momentum.”

He cited the NOAH Animal Medicines Best Practice (AMBP) training programme, delivering training in responsible antibiotic use for farmers, as a good case study of industry working together to deliver practical solutions. This programme has been endorsed by the Government and is well supported throughout the farming and veterinary sector.

Concluding, Mr Brannan said: “Our call to action asks that both industry and the Government work collaboratively to design and deliver a clear UK strategy for animal health and welfare, to seize this huge and unprecedented opportunity for the UK to lead and deliver sustainable agriculture.”

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.