‘Veterinary Groups Criticise US Rep. Ted Yoho’s Conduct’: Your Weekly Veterinary News Crunch 31 July 2020

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The weekly rundown of veterinary news for the time-poor vet, presented by VetX International

Veterinary Groups Criticise US Rep. Ted Yoho’s Conduct

According to The Hill, US Rep. Ted Yoho approached US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez outside the Capitol, and told her “she was ‘disgusting’ for recently suggesting that poverty and unemployment are driving a spike in crime in New York City during the pandemic.”

According to the story, Yoho also said, “You are out of your freaking mind,” to which she responded that he was “rude.”

A subsequent statement from the AVMA has also drawn criticism after it affirmed their commitment to gender equity, anti-racism, diversity and inclusion in the profession, but failed to rebuke Yoho.

The Women’s Veterinary Leadership Development Initiative posted a statement which reads: “On a daily basis, women hear derogatory and abusive language directed at them, and the veterinary profession is not an exception. Our instinct is to chalk it up to just another day. The truth is, however, that words have power. The incident that occurred between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and one of our own, Rep. Ted Yoho, is a reminder that we still have work to do. These words and actions are not about politics. It is a reminder that we need to look at how we treat each other as people.”

https://news.vin.com/default.aspx?pid=210&Id=9748456

Funding Victories for US Veterinary Professionals

A series of bills have been passed by the US House of Representatives which will see funding allocated to federal programs from the 2021 fiscal year.

“Funding wins for the veterinary profession include:

  • $1 million increase to the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) for a total of $9 million
  • Continued funding for the Veterinary Services Grant Program (VSGP) at $3 million and the Food Animal Residue Avoidance Databank (FARAD) at $2.5 million
  • $3 million to support additional hires at the Animal and Plant Health Inspective Service (APHIS) Center for Veterinary Biologics.”

The AVMA advises: “The congressional recess is fast approaching, and there will be a limited window for the House and Senate to agree on funding levels before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. This makes it increasingly likely that a continuing resolution, or funding extension, will be needed to avoid a government shutdown. If that happens, the final 2021 funding levels are unlikely to be determined until after the November election.”

The full list can be viewed at: https://www.avma.org/blog/veterinary-funding-update-good-news-early-action

IRS Ruling Could be Financial Burden for Veterinarians in US

During the Covid-19 pandemic, 18,500 vet practices in the US took out loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Now, IRS is limiting how these loans can be used. Specifically, they want to prohibit you from claiming certain federal tax deductions for forgivable expenses if you paid for them with PPP funds—expenses that are normally fully tax deductible.

The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) are one of many lobbying against the proposed changes, which could see a hefty tax burden placed upon 56% of veterinary practices in the US.

“Businesses are usually able to deduct their payroll expenses, mortgage interest, utilities, etc., as ordinary business expenses,” McClure said. “[But] if they can’t deduct these expenses when paid by PPP loan proceeds, it can reduce the effectiveness of the PPP funds by up to 40%, depending [on where they live]” says Kent McClure, DVM, JD, the AVMA’s chief government relations officer.

The AVMA has made a form letter to help you contact your congressional representative, to encourage them to overturn the decision. 

Full details and the form can be accessed here: https://www.aaha.org/publications/newstat/articles/2020-07/help-overturn-an-irs-ruling-on-ppp-deductions-that-could-affect-veterinarians/

Full Impact of Australian Bushfires Revealed

The full scale impact of the Australian bushfires on native wildlife from 2019-2020 has been revealed. An interim report commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), with contributions from scientists at the University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, University of Newcastle, Charles Sturt University and Birdlife Australia, has revealed a far more devastating impact than previously predicted. 

Nearly 3 billion animals were killed or displaced, including 143 million mammals, 180 million birds and 51 million frogs. Dermot O’Gorman, WWF-Australia’s chief executive, said: “It’s hard to think of another event anywhere in the world in living memory that has killed or displaced that many animals. This ranks as one of the worst wildlife disasters in modern history.” 

Chris Dickman, a professor in ecology at the University of Sydney explained the shock of researchers: “Three thousand million native vertebrates is just huge. It’s a number so big that you can’t comprehend it.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/28/almost-3-billion-animals-affected-by-australian-megafires-report-shows-aoe

More than 1 in 10 UK Pet Owners Conned

With the huge surge in online shopping amidst lockdown, research has shown that at least 1 in 10 pet owners have been conned into purchasing fake pet medications online.

“Unbeknown to most pet owners, counterfeit medicines come in many forms. They can often look, smell and feel like the real thing but can contain completely different active ingredients, an incorrect dose of ingredients, or no ingredients at all. Counterfeit packaging can be so convincing that when buying pet medicines, 62 percent agreed that they find it difficult to tell which are legitimate and which are fake.”

Veterinarian Rory Cowlam said: “It saddens me that there are those out there looking to take advantage of pet owners who are really just trying to take the best care of their pets. It is so important to think carefully about where pet medicines are purchased from…”

https://veterinary-practice.com/news/2020/more-than-1-in-10-pet-owners-have-been-conned-into-purchasing-fake-pet-medicines-online

First Case of Cat with Covid-19 in UK

Defra recently announced that Covid-19 has been detected in a pet cat. It is believed the cat contracted the virus from its owners who had Covid-19, and there is no evidence to suggest that the cat was involved in the transmission of the disease to humans.

BSAVA President, Professor Ian Ramsey said: “A very small number of cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in pets worldwide and pet owners should not be unduly concerned.”

He continued, “If pet owners have any concerns about their pet, in particular if they are showing signs of respiratory or gastrointestinal illness, they should contact their vet who can advise them on the best course of action and decide if any testing is required.”

https://veterinary-practice.com/news/2020/bsava-president-comments-on-the-first-case-of-covid-19-confirmed-in-pet-cat-in-the-uk

Struggling to Sleep?

We all know that we should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep to be the most productive we can. However, in practice this is hard. Everyday stresses can leak into our evenings, and before we know it, we are laying wide awake at 4am. And, if we are sleeping, we are probably dreaming about a nightmarish operation or a disastrous spay.

Christopher Barnes provides some tips that could help you have a more restful night’s sleep:

  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Know when to call it a day
  • Learn how to delegate so you are not overworked and overwhelmed
  • Seek support from your team

The full article can be read here: https://hbr.org/2020/07/you-need-more-sleep-what-should-you-do-if-you-cant-get-it?registration=success

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