Nominations open for biennial Plowright Prize


The Plowright Prize is open for nominations to recognise individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of infectious disease in animals. The £75,000 biennial prize is awarded by RCVS Knowledge, the charity partner of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). The prize is open to any veterinarian, veterinary nurse or research scientist working in Europe or the Commonwealth, and Australian nominations are welcomed.


Walter Plowright was widely regarded as one of the world’s most eminent veterinary virologists and authorities on rinderpest, whose development of a tissue culture vaccine represented a key milestone in efforts to control the disease – one of only two infectious diseases that have been fully eradicated.


The recipient of the Plowright Prize will receive £75,000, to be used to support research or other improvement activity that contributes to the control, management and eradication of infectious diseases in animals – including both domestic and free-living species – mammals, birds or fish. Nominees may be working in practice, academia, a research organisation, industry, government or another relevant sector. Nominations for the prize close on 31 March 2022. Full story: RCVS Knowledge


NSW vet highlights the pinch on practices


In a recent Mandurah Mail article, Wauchope Veterinary Clinic owner Dr Michael Ferguson highlighted the pinch veterinary practices are feeling due to staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr Ferguson told the newspaper that two nurses from his practice on the Mid-North Coast of New South Wales were isolating after returning positive COVID-19 tests, and called for patience and kindness from the public while the profession dealt with the added strain.


“It’s very hard to know what we’re going to be faced with each day and also having enough staff on hand to do it. There are a lot more people who are stressed and worried, and that often comes to the surface when they have to deal with an emotional situation with their pet,” said Dr Ferguson.


The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) also issued a statement this week, saying that the pandemic was stretching veterinary services to breaking point.


“We know that there are around 125,000 doctors to look after almost 26 million Australians, compared to only 13,500 vets to look after the 30.4 million pets – let alone all the other animals that vets look after. Staff shortages due to the Omicron variant are making it very difficult for veterinary teams to provide care to all of their patients,” said the AVA’s President Dr Warwick Vale. Full story: Mandurah Mail


Join the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Training course


Vets Beyond Borders (VBB) are calling for applications to join their exclusive cohort for the 2022 intake of the Taronga Zoo Wildlife Training course. Applications are open to veterinarians, vet nurses and final year veterinary students, with Vets Beyond Borders candidates receiving a course textbook, course fee help, and possible travel assistance.


The course enables candidates to upskill in the treatment of wildlife so they can better assist in wildlife emergencies such as the recent Black Summer bushfires, while improving the management of wildlife at their clinic overall.


Participants will learn all aspects of wildlife treatment, first aid and care and become part of a network of veterinary professionals who can competently and ethically provide care in natural disaster scenarios, as well as in daily veterinary practice. Applications for the VBB cohort close on Wednesday, 19 January 2022. Visit the Vets Beyond Borders website for more details.


New eco-friendly Elizabethan collar


MDC, an animal welfare equipment company based in the UK, has announced a new eco-friendly Elizabethan collar. Like similar products on the market, the collar is designed to be a comfortable, well-tolerated barrier to self-trauma by cats and small dogs – but with one key difference: the Smart Recover Collar is biodegradable, carbon-balanced and sustainably sourced.


“Like you, [we are] concerned for our environment. We want to work more sustainably and help you make a greener veterinary practice. We’ve removed unnecessary and single-use plastics at every opportunity and introduced recycled and recyclable packaging where we can. [The] Smart Recover Collar is another major step forward,” the company said in a statement.


Available in four sizes, the Smart Recover Collar is made of flexible but robust card allowing the free movement of the patient’s head and neck so that they can walk, eat, drink and sleep in comfort. The collar is secured in place with the use of easy snap studs without the necessity to attach it to the pet’s regular collar. Full story: MDC