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NOAH event held to celebrate children and their pets
NOAH CEO Phil Sketchley.
Photography by Andy Catterall
National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) held a reception at the House of Commons to celebrate the benefits that animals can bring to children's lives and to promote responsible pet ownership.

On Tuesday, November 20, guests and charities from throughout the UK came together to share experiences of how animals are helping children with their physical, educational and psychological needs.

MRCVSonline were honoured to receive an invitation to the event and to gain a valuable insight into the attending charities' work, including Riding for the Disabled Association, The Kennel Club Bark and Read Foundation, Dogs Trust and Caring Canines.

Phil Sketchley, Chief Executive at NOAH, explained that encouraging the use of dogs and other animals within the healthcare industry can reduce the financial strain on the NHS; in particular, it has been recorded that the number of call outs to diabetes suffers has been significantly reduced following the introduction of Medical Detection Dogs to the home.

The world's ugliest dog, Mugly, was also in attendance with the Pets As Therapy team, who help children to read and communicate by making them feel less stressed and self conscious in large groups and unnerving social situations.

Other organisations promoting their charity work included Dogs Helping Kids, Wood Green Animal Shelter, Dogs for the Disabled, The Animal Education Alliance, and National Pet month.

Reception host, Neil Parish MP, reiterated the benefits of animals to the wellbeing of children.

"Many children believe they can speak with pets before their parents, which I can understand," he said. "If I have a tough time at the House of Commons, when I get home my dog is delighted to see me."

Mr Parish also mentioned the importance of working with pets and children at primary school age. He said many of the charities have already offered their time to do this, and that he has written to Education Secretary Michael Gove.

The event was also host to the launch of NOAH's I Heart My Pet campaign, which aims to raise awareness of regular preventative healthcare as integral to responsible pet ownership; seasonal tips and advice, social media campaigns and an activity calendar provide owners with expert information for keeping pets happy and healthy all year round.

For more information about I Heart My Pet, click here.

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”