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More talking sheep


The Sheep Veterinary Society's (SVS) ‘Talking Sheep’ initiative is being repeated in 2011.

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Following the launch of the initiative in 2010 (Vet Record Careers, January 30, 2010, p i) the first in this year's series of regional meetings was held at Scotch Corner on January 17. Many of those who came along last year were back to hear more short clinical presentations from a range of experienced and less-experienced presenters, once again sponsored by Intervet/Schering-Plough.

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Recent graduate Davinia Hinde gave a short presentation on an outbreak of cerebrocortical necrosis in a group of lambs also suffering from moderate parasitic gastroenteritis, and suggested a link between the two conditions brought on by gut inflammation and decreased thiamine absorbtion.

VLA – Thirsk was represented by two speakers; Rudolph Reichel reported on findings relating to monitoring comparisons between submissions from organic and non-organic farms, while Ben Strugnell revealed what seems to a be a breed-specific problem of nephritis in Zwartbles ewe hoggs.

Fiona Lovatt gave the group a rundown of a computer modelling program relating to the cost of footrot on farms. Initially sceptical, those involved felt that with appropriate veterinary input this program is potentially useful on farms, indicating the current cost of disease (including an estimate of production losses) on any particular farm and allowing the indices to be altered to reflect various treatment and prevention options.

Other meetings are planned for Devon, Belfast, Edinburgh, Sutton Bonington, Penrith, Shrewsbury, Cornwall and Newcastle – with more in the pipeline. This year, SVS is going even further to encourage younger members to get involved, and two of the meetings will include presentations by student speakers, offering them an early chance to hone their presentational skills.

March 9 looks like being the biggest ‘Talking Sheep’ day: more details can be found at

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