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Coronavirus: Bronx zoo tiger tests positive for COVID-19

Nadia, a tiger at Bronx Zoo, US has tested positive for COVID-19, becoming the first animal in the country to test positive for the virus. There are also six other tigers and lions who have fallen ill but have not yet tested positive for COVID-19. However, there is no evidence of animals spreading the disease to humans or that they could be the source of the infection.

Bronx zoo’s director, Jim Breheny said: “These are extremely hard days for all of us – no matter where we live and work. We will ensure that whatever we can learn from these circumstances will be used to better understand and combat this disease,”

Reduce pet-to-pet contact, shelters warned

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has collaborated with a number of animal health groups to produce a list of recommendations to increase the safety of animals and vet staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the goal continues to be keeping companion animals together with their owners; however, there will be circumstances where shelters receive companion animals from a home with a person known or suspected to have COVID-19. In these cases, animal handling should address human health, animal health, and animal welfare needs.”

The list of recommendations along with other COVID-19 related resources can be found here:

A big thanks to all vets from the RSPCA

The RSPCA has offered their thanks to all vets for their continued efforts in supporting animals through this time of crisis due to COVID-19.

RSPCA Chief Veterinary Officer, Caroline Allen said: “This is an incredibly challenging time for the RSPCA, trying to advise the public and keeping emergency services going with fewer staff, strained resources and in line with Government advice. I know this is equally stressful and challenging for vet staff too and I wanted to say a huge thank you from everyone at the RSPCA for your hard work, dedication and support you are giving the RSPCA.”

Hipra offers lab space for COVID-19 fight

Spanish animal health firm Hipra have offered their 700 sq m of laboratory facilities for analysis of samples to help fight against COVID-19. They are also helping manufacture medical ventilators with 3D printers. This will last 2-3 weeks but can be extended further.

A spokesperson for the the company said: “As an animal health company, for us it is a duty and an act of responsibility to make use of all the resources we have to help preserve public health in such exceptional times, hence the need to collaborate by giving over our new diagnostic centres.”

Practices warned of drug theft during pandemic

The Royal College of Veterinary Science College (RCVS) has relayed a warning by the controlled drug liaison team at West Midlands Police to UK vet clinics about a possible increase in drug theft. This is due to a decrease in illegal drugs available on the streets and may cause addicts to break into medical facilities. RCVS has warned vets to stay vigilant on their drug safeguarding and protocols.

RCVS agrees 25 percent reduction in hourly vet and vet nurse CPD requirement during 2020

RSVS has announced that they will be reducing the hourly vet requirement by 25 percent throughout 2020 due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19. Veterinary surgeons will now have to perform 26 hours of CPD, down from 35. Veterinary nurses will have to perform 11 hours, down from 15.

Dr Connell, RCVS President said: “As a compassionate regulator, we recognise that although some veterinary professionals have seen a reduced workload, there remains immense pressure on very many members of the professions to juggle professional and family, childcare and other caring responsibilities in very difficult circumstances. A number of veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses expressed concern that it may be difficult to undertake CPD at present and so, in order to give the professions some breathing space, we decided we would reduce the minimum hours required for 2020. We also recognise that some practices are having to make the difficult decision to reduce their CPD budgets this year in response to falling footfall.”

PetSure to enable remote veterinary care for pets via televet startup Vetchat

Pet insurance administrator PetSure has collaborated with Vetchat, a veterinary telehealth service that gives customers immediate access to a consult with a nationally registered vet via text or video. PetSure has become 40 percent shareholder in Vetchat to push the boundaries of veterinary telehealth services to people across Australia. This comes at a time when clients are unable to come into contact with veterinary professionals due to the risk of spreading COVID-19.

PetSure CEO Alexandra Thomas said: “PetSure exists for the welfare of Australian pets, and we are very glad to be able to invest in building this infrastructure that enables people to continue caring for their pets—especially under the current circumstances,”.

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