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Prof Sandy Trees ennobled
Distinguished vet appointed to House of Lords

MRCVS.co.uk would like to extend our warmest congratulations to Professor Alexander (Sandy) Trees, formerly Dean of the Liverpool University Veterinary School and President of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, upon the announcement of his being raised to the House of Lords as a Crossbench Peer. Professor Trees' future title will be announced at a later date, and he will become the second veterinary surgeon ever to enter the Lords after the ennoblement of Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior in 1990.

Commenting, Professor Trees said “I am delighted and humbled to be appointed as a member of the House of Lords, not least as I will become only the second veterinary surgeon to be ennobled. The understanding of science in public policy has never been more important and I look forward to bringing my experience and knowledge to the House.”

“I shall endeavour to be an advocate for science-based policy making and also for the veterinary profession. I believe that veterinary surgeons both in practice and academia could, and should, play a more prominent role in advising Parliament not only on animal health and welfare matters, but also on human healthcare.”

Also commenting, BVA President Carl Padgett said “The British Veterinary Association is absolutely delighted at Professor Trees' appointment to the House of Lords. He will bring a wealth of experience and scientific expertise into the political arena, not only in the fields of animal health and welfare but also public health, where he has particular knowledge and experience.”

"We are also proud that Professor Trees will be formally opening this September's BVA Congress in Liverpool where he inspired two generations of vets through his teaching and research, and we look forward to working with him to deliver a healthy future for animals, vets and the country."

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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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News Shorts
Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”