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‘Unexpected’ number of AMR genes found on pig farm
This study was carried out during a single produciton cycle on a commercial pig farm.

New study highlights extent of AMR gene ‘pollution’ in livestock production

Researchers from Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) have discovered a high number of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) genes in pig faeces at a commercial farm.

Antimicrobial agents are used regularly to control disease in livestock, but little is known about how this impacts antimicrobial resistance gene dynamics. This has raised concerns about the possibility of AMR genes being transferred from livestock to humans and into the environment.

Conducted alongside the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute, this was the first longitudinal study of its kind. Carried out during a single production cycle on a commercial pig farm with high antimicrobial usage.

In total, 144 different genes were identified. Individual genes were present in the tens, hundreds and thousands of millions per gram of pig faeces. SRUC states that this unexpected discovery highlights the extent of AMR gene pollution in livestock production and the environment.

The results also suggested that the genes had become integrated into the faecal microbial community, as AMR gene counts remained relatively stable over time.

However, despite these high and somewhat stable levels of AMR genes, the antimicrobials used were still effective in controlling production-limiting diseases on the farm.

Professor Michael Hutchings, head of animal and veterinary sciences at SRUC, commented: “At the start of the study we hoped to find two or three genes to follow their numbers through the pig production cycle. The richness of AMR genes and their numbers were unexpected.”

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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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.