THE BELLA MOSS Foundation for research into MRSA and other serious infections in pets is making exciting strides forward in 2006, following on the extraordinary progress that the group made during 2005.
As reported previously, the Foundation was established by actress Jill Moss, 35, following the untimely death of her ten year-old Samoyed Bella from MRSA contracted at the North London Veterinary Hospital where she was being treated for a leg injury. Moss was horrified when she learned that hygiene procedures to prevent the spread of such infections as MRSA were not required standard practice in veterinary surgeries.
Faced with initial scepticism from the Veterinary establishment about the prevalence of MRSA in pets, Moss was able to gather together many other cases of dogs that had been infected with the so-called ‘superbug’, this proving her case. The RCVS and BVA are now backing Moss in her campaign whilst conducting their own research into the best ways to prevent the spread of MRSA amongst pets.
Bella Moss Foundation at Crufts.
The Bella Moss Foundation will be present at Crufts again this year to continue its work in promoting awareness of MRSA and other serious infections in pets.
Jill Moss told OUR DOGS: "Crufts is a huge event and gives us the opportunity to make new contacts and renew old ones as part of our strategy to raise awareness. We will be visiting different exhibitors as part of our work and letting the press know how important an issue this is.
"But most importantly, it’s also an unparalleled opportunity to again meet real pet owners who may not have heard of our work yet, and who may know nothing of Bella’s story or the issues related to serious infections. That is the real purpose of what the Foundation does."
The 1st International Conference on MRSA in Animals to be held on19th/21st June at the University of Liverpool in Leahurst, Wirral is a major step forward in bringing the issues around MRSA to the veterinary profession. With some of the world’s most eminent veterinary leaders speaking, we expect the research and clinical aspects to be thoroughly explored and opened up to practicing vets.
This event, which the Bella Moss Foundation is holding in partnership with the University of Liverpool, is the first to make MRSA in animals the focus. Moss commented: "We believe that it shows that there is a new awareness in the veterinary world of the risk to animals of MRSA and a desire to prevent it becoming as big a threat to animal health as it is to humans."
Information About and Classification of Pathogens
The Foundation’s support for a central database on issues related to MRSA and other serious infection is well known The BMF strongly support the principle of centralising information and standardising laboratory methods in analysing and cataloguing infectious organisms in order to clarify vets’ and laypersons’ understanding of pathogens and increase their ability to identify and treat them.
BMF and The Practice Standard Scheme
The BMF is strongly in favour of a compulsory or statutory system that improves the overall standard of veterinary practice.
Moss said: "Although the RCVS has launched its Practice Standard Scheme, the Bella Moss Foundation believes that the evidence shows that there has been too little take-up by new practices to show that the scheme is valued in any way by practicing vets, and that the scheme itself is too limited in scope.
"The only way that overall standards can be improved in the short term and thus improve confidence in veterinary services is by making good practice a requirement rather than an option.
This would help narrow the gap between the best and the worst of practices and force the profession as a whole to think more collectively about issues such as infection control."
For full details about the Bella Moss Foundation, see the Charity website
and the Campaign website: http://www.pets-mrsa.com
For details of the 1st International Conference on MRSA in Animals,
see website: http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/vetvirology/mrsaconference.htm