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SRUC awarded mental health research grant
Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded more than £20,000 to fund research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.
Research aims to “break the cycle of negative thoughts” in the farm animal sector

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has been awarded more than £20,000 to fund research into veterinary mental health and wellbeing.

The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant was awarded to SRUC at RCVS Day on Friday 12 July. Behavioural scientist Dr Kate Stephen will lead the project and undertake the majority of qualitative data collection and analysis.
 
“It is an honour to be awarded this grant," said Dr Stephen. "We hope our project will make a positive contribution towards understanding and improving the mental health and wellbeing of individuals in the veterinary profession."

The Sarah Brown Mental Health Research Grant is named after an elected RCVS Council member who tragically passed away in 2017. It provides funding for research focussed on mental health within the veterinary professions, including areas such as prevention, diagnosis, intervention and treatment.

“While nothing can replace Sarah, I am glad that, with the blessing of her family, we have been able to launch these grants and, indeed, find a worthy recipient," commented Professor Stuart Reid, chair of the Mind Matters Initiative.
 
“We were very impressed with SRUC’s proposal because it focused on farm animal veterinary sector, an area of practice that can be harder to address when it comes to mental health support, but which has significant challenges that research has demonstrated can put strains on the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary surgeons.

“For example, some farm vets have cited isolation, the challenging nature of some aspects of the job and the great responsibility it carries for the livelihood of farmers and rural communities as being particularly stressful.”

He added: ‘The SRUC research has the very laudable aim of identifying how to better promote job satisfaction and to break the cycle of negative thoughts and poor mental wellbeing identified amongst farm vets, and so we are very glad to have made this award to the team.

“It’s only by improving the veterinary mental health evidence base that we will be able to hone the interventions and support that is available to members of the veterinary team.”

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New York to ban sale of foie gras

News Story 1
 New York City councillors have voted overwhelmingly in favour of legislation that will see the ban of foie gras in the city. The move, which comes in response to animal cruelty concerns, will take effect in 2022.


 Councillor Carlina Rivera, who sponsored the legislation, told the New York Times that her bill “tackles the most inhumane process” in the commercial food industry. “This is one of the most violent practices, and it’s done for a purely luxury product,” she said.


 Foie gras is a food product made of the liver of a goose or duck that has been fattened, often by force-feeding. New York City is one of America’s largest markets for the product, with around 1,000 restaurants currently offering it on their menu. 

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News Shorts
Humane Slaughter Association student scholarships open for applications

Applications for the Humane Slaughter Association’s student/trainee Dorothy Sidley Memorial Scholarships are now open.

The Scholarships provide funding to enable students or trainees in the industry to undertake a project aimed at improving the welfare of food animals during marketing, transport and slaughter. The project may be carried out as an integral part of a student's coursework over an academic year, or during the summer break.

The deadline for applications is midnight on the 28 February 2020. To apply and for further information visit www.hsa.org.uk/grants or contact the HSA office.