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One in four pet owners admit to missing vet appointments during pandemic
Pet owners revealed that fears around the spread of COVID-19 were the main reason for missed appointments.

Survey reveals impact of COVID-19 on veterinary care

A recent survey of more than 3,200 pet owners from across four countries has revealed that a quarter of pet owners have delayed or missed appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey - commissioned by the global animal health association HealthforAnimals - showed that more than one in ten pets had missed essential routine treatments such as primary vaccines.

Owners cited concerns around exposure to COVID-19 outside of 'social bubbles' as one of the main reasons for missing appointments.

“These survey results reveal yet more worrying, secondary impacts of the pandemic, with pet owners reluctant to visit a veterinarian and animal health suffering as a result,” said Dr Simon Doherty, senior lecturer in Animal Health & Welfare at Queen’s University Belfast and former president of the BVA.

“The reality is that veterinarians and veterinary services have been recognised as essential throughout the pandemic because animal health is a core element of public health. If pets are not receiving routine healthcare including vaccination, we could see an increase in preventable diseases and other health issues.”

A large number of veterinary practices have taken steps to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, with 47 per cent of owners surveyed reporting that their veterinary practice offered digital or remote appointments. This is more than double what was reported before the pandemic.

Three quarters of pet owners who used veterinary telemedicine during the pandemic said that they were satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service. More than 60 per cent said that they would be more likely to seek a veterinary consultation if they could do so virtually.

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on minsmere@rspb.org.uk outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit moredun.org.uk