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Report highlights need for farm animal health and welfare body
Farm vet with a cow
The report explores the influencing factors on animal health and welfare that support animal medicine best practice.
“Building a resilient and sustainable farming system must be a priority” - Dr O'Gorman. 

A new report has highlighted the need for a dedicated body for farm animal health and welfare, led by the farming and veterinary sectors. 

The report, entitled 'Animal Medicine Best Practice: Unlocking the potential for UK farming' was compiled by vet and animal health policy expert Grace O’Gorman under the Nuffield Farming Scholarships. 

In the report, Dr O'Gorman also makes policy changes and practical recommendations for biosecurity, antibiotics, vaccines, parasites and pain control. 

She explained: “Livestock farmers are challenged to farm in more sustainable and productive ways, whilst staying in business. Consumers and Government want to know more about how medicines are used on farm and this scrutiny is set to intensify as farming is directly supported by the public purse. 

“At the same time, the UK is on the cusp of trading in a world market outside of the EU block. These converging paths have raised the stakes and there is a need to take a fresh look at the national ambition for animal health and welfare and how it can deliver on all fronts for farmers and society.” 

Dr O'Gorman visited Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and New Zealand to understand the influencing factors on animal health and welfare that support animal medicine best practice. 

She concludes there is a need for a model framework that uses a top-down and bottom-up approach and considers the nature of veterinary services, effective use of data, diagnostics, biosecurity and training. 

“Building a resilient and sustainable farming system must be a priority," she said. "We are standing at a crossroads with new trading and regulatory environments, societal pressures on food, welfare, and the environment, all in sight. How we move forward will impact farm life, livestock and how food is produced for years to come.”

Dr O'Gorman presented her findings during the recent Nuffield Farming Virtual Mini-Conference Series. Her presentation can be viewed on Nuffield Farming’s YouTube channel.

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: rvc.uk.com/SummerSchools Applications close on the 2 March 2021.