As if the recent bout of cold weather hadn’t sufficiently served to increase the fears of British livestock farmers struggling with livestock losses, in addition to the falling price of lamb, several European countries, including the UK, are currently subject to the emergence of a devastating arbovirus affecting ruminant animals – Schmallenberg virus (SBV). Although not considered a notifiable disease, SBV was first detected in Germany in November 2011  and is responsible for neurological defects, stillbirths and late abortions in sheep, cattle and goats [1-3]. However, there is a low likelihood of any risk to public health.
As an arbovirus, SBV has rapidly spread throughout Europe by infected vectors such as midges, mosquitoes and ticks. Favourable climate conditions reported …
As powerful as a horse may be, it is interesting to note that we still have not cracked the potential of the equine athlete in any of its sporting disciplines. Similar to human athletes, horses are also affected by the pressures of a sporting event. In a review published today in BMC Veterinary Research, Dr Sebastian McBride from the Royal Agricultural College and Prof Danny Mills from the University of Lincoln discuss the influencing factors that affect the psychology of the performance horse. This review addresses in detail how such psychological parameters need to be considered when determining the optimal training strategy for the horse, including behavioral modification techniques, which can be applied to improve performance …
One month before the opening of the 2012 Olympic Games, BMC Veterinary Research arrived in the city of Liverpool to attend an educational event hosted by the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP) at Aintree Racecourse on the 16th and 17th June. ICEEP’s “Winning Ways” equine science conference was hosted by the University of Liverpool and involved specialist equine clinicians and scientists from the University.
The programme was tailored for veterinarians, physiotherapists and horse owners and trainers with an interest in equine sports, and boasted an impressive line-up of national and international authorities on all aspects of equine performance who shared their latest findings and knowledge at the two-day conference.
Included in the impressive catalogue of speakers was
A dog’s breed standard is the set of criteria used to define the archetype of each breed. My personal favourite belongs to the Beagle, which includes as part of the official definition:
“The man with the lead in his hand and no dog
in sight owns a Beagle”
Strict adherence to these breed standards defines each of the many different pedigree classes seen in conformation dog shows, where each breed competes to be crowned as its most perfect representation.
Such remarkable diversification is unprecedented in the animal kingdom given the level of genetic diversity seen in the species, and has largely come about through concerted efforts by human breeders to adapt them to …