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    Surely it isn’t really dangerous to throw sticks for dogs?

    This is a topic that comes up again and again - but sadly, it is true! Over the last year or so, there has been a growing chorus from vets to warn people of the (very real) dangers of throwing sticks for dogs - sadly hindered by celebrities who should know better. Yes, it’s true that many dogs catch sticks every day of their lives and never have a problem, but how would you feel if it was your dog that became impaled, abscessed, or bled to death from a lacerated artery?
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    Mega farms: does our society really want animal production on this industrial scale?

    The latest campaign by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), highlights the rise of so-called “mega-farms”. There is no formal definition of a mega farm, but in the USA, “Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations” (CAFOs) are defined as those housing 125,000 broiler chickens, 82,000 laying hens, 2,500 pigs or 700 dairy or 1,000 beef cattle. In the UK, special permits are needed if they house more than 40,000 chickens, 2,000 pigs or 750 breeding sows. The term “mega farm” seems like appropriate terminology. There are now 789 mega farms in the UK, and the CIWF online map allows you to see if there’s one near you.
    The wording on the website is eye-catching:
    Around 70% of farm animals in the UK are kept in factory farms, where they spend their lives in overcrowded barns or cages. Factory farming has spread across the country to satisfy our appetite for cheap meat, dairy, and eggs, at great cost to animal welfare, human health, and the environment. Follow this link to see how much chicken, pig, and dairy factory farming there is where you live.”

    The pros and cons of gigantic farms

    Mega farms are controversial. Animal welfare groups like CIWF are quick to condemn them for turning animals into commodities devoid of any value other than their market price, while farming organisations argue that mega farms offer the best hope of maintaining good animal welfare while also producing the cheapest possible meat, milk and eggs. So what’s the truth?  
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    Are jerky treats really bad for my dog?

    This is a news story that keeps cropping up, but it’s still surprising how little awareness there is of the problem. The evidence is increasing that there is some component in some types of jerky treats that can make dogs very, very ill.

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    BBC’s Trust Me I’m A Vet – informative educational television let down by poor scientific technique

    The first series of Trust Me I'm A Vet on BBC2 was anticipated with hopeful curiosity by vets and pet owners. With the BBC's reputation for good quality science, and the direct input of vets in practice working closely the UK veterinary schools, this was an exciting opportunity to spread good quality information about pets and veterinary science. This type of prime time public education has the potential to make a serious difference to people's knowledge about animals and so consequently to improve the quality of care that pets get from their owners. So after the three episodes that made up the first series, did the programme live up to expectations?
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    A spinal injury after a road accident in a cat: is recovery from paralysis possible?

    She was brought in to see me at once: after examining her carefully, I explained to her owners that she had suffered a serious spinal injury.
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