Essay: Check under the tail… every time!

Once you have worked in veterinary practice for long enough you will have seen your fair share of preventable errors. As a practice owner there is nothing more frustrating than dealing with mistakes despite feeling that you have plenty of good systems in place and have given your staff ample training. Most practices have experienced that classic of veterinary surgery – the cat spey with no uterus that turns out to be a boy! It’s Murphy’s Law that the one day you don’t check under the tail, Charlotte turns out to be Charlie. Continue reading Essay: Check under the tail… every time!

Essay: Time to stop discounting?

Why do veterinarians persist in discounting surgical sterilisation of dogs and cats? This practice is so entrenched that I doubt anyone stops to consider why we do it.

I can think of three possible reasons for discounting surgical sterilisation of dogs and cats:

  • Every other clinic does;
  • It’s a “loss leader”; and
  • It’s a community service to help reduce the number of unwanted companion animals.

The only valid reason, in my opinion, is the last one – it’s a community service. Unfortunately, the community does not recognise this. Continue reading Essay: Time to stop discounting?

ESSAY: The Importance of Reducing Stocking Density to Improve Broiler Welfare

Introduction
As global meat consumption continues to rise and consumers show ever more interest in the origin of their food, maintenance of the welfare of production animals has never before been so important (Decuypere et al., 2010). Of all the production animals, broiler chickens are the most intensively farmed, often to the detriment of their welfare. Although there are several elements to be considered with regard to broiler welfare, this essay focuses on stocking density – a major welfare concern in conventional broiler farming today (Petek et al., 2010). Continue reading ESSAY: The Importance of Reducing Stocking Density to Improve Broiler Welfare

The Role of Bits in Equitation: A Welfare Issue

Introduction
Traditionally, the use of a bitted bridle has been the principal method by which the ridden horse has been controlled (Quick & Warren-Smith, 2009). The use of a bit is invasive, since it causes discomfort in the mouth and interferes with breathing (Cook, 1999). Additionally, a bit affects oral behaviours and, when accompanied by excessive . . . → Read More: The Role of Bits in Equitation: A Welfare Issue

Essay: Decreasing stress, aggression and injury in pigs housed in intensive production systems

Introduction
Animal welfare issues are inherent in any intensive production system that restricts animals to an environment incompatible with their behavioural needs (D’Eath & Turner, 2009). For example, intensive husbandry practices, such as a mix of pigs in a confined space, can result in significant stress reactions and displays of aggressive behaviour through frustration or restriction of natural behaviour (Guy et al., 2009; Yonezawa et al., 2009). This paper will discuss the use of pig-appeasing pheromone (PAP) to reduce aggression and social stress generally, and the importance of tail posture in predicting incidents of tail-biting injury in post-weaning piglets.
Continue reading Essay: Decreasing stress, aggression and injury in pigs housed in intensive production systems