News Bites for 29 October 2021
Call for a risk-based approach to parasiticide use in dogs and cats
Several leading veterinary associations in the United Kingdom have set out recommendations for the use of small animal parasiticides, as new research showed almost 98% of companion animal vets were concerned about the impact of some treatments on the environment, with more than two in five (42%) feeling very concerned.
There is increasing concern that some small animal parasiticides used to treat and prevent parasites on millions of dogs and cats across the UK could contaminate the environment and cause harm to wildlife, ecosystems, and in turn public health. This could occur in many ways, from excretion in animal waste to being washed into rivers from household wastewater after being applied to an animal’s skin.
“The impact of small animal parasiticides on the environment is an issue which is an increasing concern in the veterinary profession. Our new joint position not only highlights areas of concern and recommendations around using these medicines responsibly but also how veterinary professionals can act now in order to protect the environment,” said British Veterinary Association President, Dr Justine Shotton. Read more
Colorado elk liberated from car tyre
A bull elk in Colorado was freed of a rubber tyre that had been stuck around the animal’s neck for over two years, with wildlife officers from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife agency finally able to remove the tyre along with the elk’s antlers. Several attempts had been made to capture the elk, with wildlife officers eventually bringing down the animal with a tranquilizer dart and successfully remove the tyre.
The officers feared that the elk may have sustained significant damage after lugging the heavy object around its neck, but after removing the tyre, they were surprised to find little to no damage. “We would have preferred to cut the tyre and leave the antlers for his rutting activity, but the situation was dynamic and we had to just get the tyre off in any way possible,” said wildlife officer, Scott Murdoch. Read more
VetChip founder wins Aspire Award
Veterinarian and AVA WA President Dr Garnett Hall has won the ‘This Is Fremantle Aspire Award 2021’ recognising his innovative work in developing the VetChip smart chip for animals, along with his local community work. Dr Hall said he would be using this award to attend the Singapore Vet Show, the largest annual veterinary conference in the Southern Hemisphere.
“The research and developments coming out of Western Australia, such as Dr Hall’s incredible VetChip technology, show that our state is truly an incubator for knowledge. We are honoured to be supporting Dr Hall and his work through the Aspire Awards.” Read more
These lemurs will rock you
Scientists studying the critically endangered indri lemur have discovered that the primates sing in rhythms startling similar to the stomp-stomp-clap of Queen’s 1977 hit single “We Will Rock You”. The finding is particularly noteworthy, as previously only people and birds were thought to sing using this type of rhythm with a set amount of time between notes.
Chiara De Gregorio, a primatologist at the University of Turin in Italy told National Geographic that the indris sing to find family members that have become lost, lay claim to patches of forest, and even perform “vocal battles” with their neighbours. Read more