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News from The Bella Moss Foundation

Just had a press release from The Bella Moss Foundation. The paper referred to is in The Lancet and is called Bite-related and septic syndromes caused by cats and dogs

Jill Moss has worked tirelessly and with immense determination since the death of her dog Bella from MRSA. The Foundation offers a lot of much needed support to dog owners affected by any serious infection. If you need their help or want to find out more visit The Bella Moss Foundation . Here's the press release in full:

This paper has just been released and BMF are a resource and have been invited by the author to address the University of Florida (infectious diseases department about our work)

The paper clearly outlines the need for veterinarians in the USA and the UK to be more vigil in taking precautions to protect practice and patients from MRSA and other pathogens emerging. I sit on DEFRA’s antimicrobial resistance committee on MRSA in animals and DEFRA are the main sponsors for the the 2nd International conference I am organizing in September (London 2009) on MRSA in animals (press release to go out next month) see attachment

BACKGROUND Bella Moss Foundation and the role it plays in protecting pets from emerging diseases

Bella Moss foundation was started by an actress (Jill Moss) who lost her dog (Bella) to MRSA in 2004.

Jill Moss gave up acting and now runs the foundation full time. As president of an international charity working with the government and human and animal health professions (BMF) would like to see mandatory guidelines of good practice in veterinary surgeries across the UK are brought in line with the NHS standards. More strains of MRSA and other bugs are emerging and it is crucial we take action now. In 2009 Jill Moss will organize and host in London the 2nd International conference on MRSA in animals addressing public health and cross infection risks and alerting the media to the fact that this is now a serious problem and Bella was the tip of the iceberg.

There is a lack of regulation amongst the veterinary profession due to two things:-
1 The 1966 vet surgeons act which BMF are calling for the government to update giving the Royal College of veterinary practices more power to take action against veterinary negligence

2 Royal College of veterinary surgeons have a practice standards scheme which is voluntary and not uptake by UK vets for reasons of expense and leucocratic paperwork this means every vet can choose whether to adopt infection control protocol and this scheme has to be enforced as a mandatory scheme similar to the NHS as more cases are emerging of MRSA and other zoonotic transfer between humans and animals.

BMF would like the RCVS and DEFRA to bring in mandatory standards of good practice so that each veterinary practice has clear infection control protocol in place to prevent the spread of zoonotic diseases which are on the increase.

Since the start of BMF in 2004 we have seen a huge increase in cases (no central statistics are collated due to lack of money and resources) on average we deal with MRSA
UK – 7 – 10 cases per month
USA – 30 – 50 cases per month

A small percentage of these cases are direct transmission from pet owner to pet other cases are hospital acquired through surgery or post op care

In the UK MRSA hospital acquired strains EMRSA 15 and 16 are the dominant strains we see emerging in pets, but in the USA community strains of MRSA are emerging (USA 300) carried from people to pets and vice versa. It is only a matter of time before we see USA 300 present in the UK

The cross infection in the USA is a bigger problem as the community strains effect healthy people and pets are more virulent and present themselves in skin lesions and boils. BMF helps USA pet owner and vets through our website and veterinary experts in all over the USA who intervene with vets on a daily basis with Please see our testimonials page on the website for cases and photos which we can make available for press.(as long as we get a credit or feature) (follow this link)

BMF works with veterinary experts willing to comment to press from the RVC and University of Liverpool, and USA experts from University of Guelph (Canada) and University of Florida (author of paper attached) and other veterinary teaching hospitals, please contact Jill Moss for telephone and email direct lines to these experts.

Research clearly shows carriage is coming from veterinarians who are high risk groups and also from pet owners who work or have or live with a member of the family who is MRSA positive. BMF is now an international charity with a role to play. Role is to advise the public (worldwide) on infection control and prevention of cross infection and liaise with vets treating animals through our veterinary experts to intervene where necessary.

Vets need to communicate with pet owners about the risks of post operative infections and adhere to strict standards of hygiene to prevent the spread of MRSA Clostridium Diff and E-Coli which are now affecting companion animals and livestock. The 2009 conference will raise awareness of what can be done to limit the spread.

There is a story here to address, how a British pet owner who lost her beloved dog Bella (living in Edgware) is now ironically a trusted and valued resource having an influential role to play in advising pet owners and veterinarians on infection control both the USA and UK. BMF infection control training website

Jill Moss sits on DEFRA’s antimicrobial resistance committee on MRSA in animals and has got DEFRA to agree to financially support the 2009 conference and also raised sponsorship through corporate companies.

“Jill Moss BMF president and Founder
“Mt day starts at 7.00am as I turn on my computer the USA owners and vets have contacted me and I have to deal with each individual case: they may just want information or direct clinical intervention. Then I am dealing UK cases and then I have events to plan and organize, this takes most of the day and as I do not receive an income for running the charity, I work at night teaching Pilates in a gym to pay me a salary. It seems ironic that a UK pet owner is having so much of a direct impact on so many people’s lives, more information needs to be available for vets (pet owners find the BMF very easily) and until vets decide to adopt strict standards of clinical care we are going to see the rise of MRSA and other bugs crossing from humans to pets and it saddens me so much when most of this can be prevented. BMF has seen how our intervention can help to save lives, early detection and targeted treatment is the key. Vets have to stop treating animals with broad spectrum antibiotics and culturing suspected infections from the start, adopt better hygiene protocol’s and communicate with pet owners about the risk of infections.

MRSA, Clostridium Diff, E-Coli and other dangerous bugs are all out there all infecting our pets on a daily basis. Humans carry these bugs to animals and the potential is there for transfer to go back and forth. Until we the pet owning public and veterinary profession combined work collaboratively to stop the spread of diseases we will keep seeing innocent animals loose their lives to what is preventable. It is the human transfer so humans need to take responsibility, and BMF now advises pet owners and veterinarians on infection control.

Pet owners need to alert vets to the fact they have had recent hospital contact or might live with someone who has MRSA and pet owners need to know how they can protect their pets, which is by keeping pets healthy and avoiding over use of antibiotics and unnecessary long hospitalization as this increases the risk of spread.

Vets need to adopt strict hygiene protocols and culture suspected infections only treating with lab analysis antibiotics, the abusive over use of antibiotics are playing a huge part in increasing the spread of zoonotic disease.”

The 2009 International conference will address the latest research from around the world on MRSA in livestock and companion animals and we invite press to attend.


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