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WWII pigeon who saved aircrew honoured with statue
Winkie's actions helped save the lives of four RAF servicemen.
Winkie saved the lives of an aircrew stranded in the North Sea.

A new statue has been unveiled in Dundee to honour a carrier pigeon who saved the lives of four RAF servicemen in the Second World War.

Winkie helped rescuers locate the crew of a downed plane in the North Sea, for which she became one of the first recipients of the Dickin Medal.

The new bronze sculpture was unveiled on Thursday, 9 November, after a campaign by a local Cubs pack for the bird to be commemorated.

Winkie was on board an RAF bomber that was returning from a mission in Norway on 23 February 1942. Damaged by enemy fire, the plane crashed into the sea.

Like other British planes during the war, a carrier pigeon was kept on board to aid communication when radio could not be used. After the plane crashed, Winkie was sent out by the stranded crew.

Despite being covered in oil, and hampered by bad weather, she managed to fly more than 120 miles to return to her owner George Ross in the Broughty Ferry suburb of Dundee.

Ross alerted the RAF who were able to use information about weather conditions and Winkie’s flight to calculate the location of the downed plane and launch a rescue operation.

The four members of the crew were successfully rescued.

A year later, Winkie was awarded one of the first ever PDSA Dickin Medals, which had been created to honour animals serving in the armed forces.

Councillor Steven Rome said: “It is fitting that Dundee’s latest piece of public art commemorates a special Broughty Ferry heroine – Winkie the pigeon.

“The tale of her exploits has inspired new generations over the decades and I would like to thank the 49th Cubs for playing an important role in securing this statue.

“It will help to ensure that the story of Winkie will never be forgotten.

“I am also pleased that relatives of George Ross have been able to attend this poignant event to unveil the statue, which is fittingly close to Remembrance Sunday.”

Image © Dundee City Council

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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Second edition of BSAVA's Thoracic Imaging manual released

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) has released the second edition of the BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Thoracic Imaging.

This edition provides new knowledge, gathered from CTs and MRIs, some of which can be applied to radiographic interpretation.

The first section explores different imaging modalities for thoracic imaging, including recommended uses. The second section illustrates features of normalcy and disease in the main anatomic compartment of the thorax.

This includes structured information about thoracic imaging interpretation and individual body systems.

There is also a new chapter exploring how artificial intelligence could be applied to the practice.

Tobias Schwarz and Peter Scrivani, who edited the book, said: "We are grateful to the many radiologists and other specialists from around the world who contributed to this manual by writing chapters, supplying images, and providing feedback.

"Our aim was to ensure that the manual was as up-to-date, accurate and comprehensive as possible."

Print copies can be purchased in the BSAVA store, with a digital version in the BSAVA library.