Georgie Atton

Combating Resistance: How Are New Treatments Discovered?

Previously we’ve touched on the increasing threat of both anthelmintic and antibiotic resistance. Across the world, anti-microbial chemicals are an absolutely vital part of life, from medical and veterinary care, to agriculture and pest management. However, the more we use these chemicals, the more likely their targets are to develop resistance.

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The Domestication of Cattle

Cattle were some of the earliest results of domestication by humans. Genetic and archaeological records show that this may have begun as early as around 10,500 years ago. Aurochs (Bos taurus primigenius) were large wild bovines which ranged across the grasslands and forests of Eurasia and northern Africa. Ancient people gradually domesticated these animals and eventually this resulted in the modern cattle we know today.

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Parasite Spotlight: Haemonchus contortus, the Barber’s Pole Worm

Parasite Spotlight: Haemonchus contortus, the Barber’s Pole Worm From endoparasites like liver fluke and Toxoplasma, to ectoparasites, like ticks and mites, controlling parasites is a routine part of livestock farming. While the vast majority of animals carry some parasites, some species are much more dangerous than others. Whilst a low level of infection might be asymptomatic, when there are lots of parasites in an animal’s system, it can cause problems. One of these worms is the Barber’s Pole Worm, Haemonchus contortus.…

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What is African Swine Fever and Why is it Such a Problem?

What is African Swine Fever and Why is it Such a Problem? Recently African Swine Fever made headlines as health officials confirmed the first cases in domestic pigs in Germany. Previously, although the virus was present in wild boar populations, it had yet to make the jump to farmed pigs. While the virus was first identified in Kenya in the 1920s, since then, it has spread across many countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. What is African Swine Fever? African…

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The One Health Model

The One Health Model Veterinary organisations and practitioners around the world have been proponents of the One Health model for many years. It combines human, animals and environmental aspects to address global health challenges. This approach has spread to human medicine in more recent years, and is particularly relevant in combating zoonotic diseases. A disease is called zoonotic when it can move between animals and humans. While some diseases, like toxoplasmosis, can be very mild, others, like rabies, can be…

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Broilers: Slow and Steady Wins the Race?

Broilers: Slow and Steady Wins the Race? Recently, M&S has become the first UK retailer to commit to removing all fast-growing broiler chickens from their supply lines. In the next 12 months, all fresh chicken products will be sourced from slow-growing breeds. Processed chicken products, for example those in ready-made sandwiches or meals, will be sourced from slow-growing broilers by 2026. This announcement comes at a time when animal welfare is very much in the public eye with the launch…

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In Ovo Chicken Vaccination: How Does It Work?

In Ovo Chicken Vaccination: How Does It Work? Vaccination is an extremely important part of healthcare for animals and humans alike. Across the world, many dangerous diseases are managed, prevented, controlled, or even eradicated by vaccines. In chickens, vaccines are available for a number of different viruses, bacteria, and fungal infections. While chicks can have them after hatching, another method is through in ovo, or in-egg, vaccination. Poultry Diseases and Vaccines Generally speaking, all large-scale commercial chickens receive vaccines. Which…

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This year's WAAVP conference might look a little different!

International Conference of the World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) 2021

International Conference of the World Association of Veterinary Parasitology 2021 The World Association for the Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (WAAVP) holds an international conference every two years. There, scientists from around the world present the most recent developments in veterinary parasitology. However, with the trials presented by COVID-19, this year’s conference will be fully virtual. What is the WAAVP? The WAAVP is a non-profit organisation of scientists who study diverse aspects of veterinary parasitology. It is the largest such organisation…

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Scratching can be a sign that an animal has fleas.

Fleas: A Worldwide Pest

Fleas: A Worldwide Pest When we think of fleas, we usually think of pets. Cats and dogs can regularly be seen scratching because of these tiny parasites, and preventing or checking for them is a regular part of pet care. But fleas can bother livestock animals too. With over 2,500 species, fleas are diverse and worldwide pests. On top of that, they can carry a host of diseases. Historically, rat fleas were responsible for the spread of bubonic plague across…

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