Looking back, and ahead to 2014

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Welcome to the final 2013 issue of Companion animal. During the run up to Christmas, we have for you another issue of practical, current, best practice articles across a range of therapy areas. Carol Jones from Dick White Referrals provides an update on microchipping in dogs (p46873), a topic that made the news this year when, on 6 February 2013, the Department of Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) announced that legislation requiring microchipping of all dogs in England will be enforced, commencing 6 April 2016. This coincides with the decision by the Welsh Government to make dog microchipping compulsory in Wales by 1 March 2015. The benefits of microchipping extend far beyond the quick return of dogs to their owners; this change in legislation will also help the crackdown on puppy breeding, improve identification of owners responsible for animal cruelty, deter dog theft, and ultimately enforce responsibility for owning a dog. Alongside this, laws governing dog attacks will change so that owners will be prosecuted for any attacks that happen on their private property. Veterinarians will be one of the groups of people with microchip scanners along with police and local authorities. With less than three years until this law is enforced, owners have time to act and become used to having to keep their registered details up to date. From April 2016, failure to comply with the legislation will result in a fine of up to 500. How smoothly will this transition occur, will the projected benefits be achieved, and how will compulsory microchipping be regulated? Ian Wright and Richard Wall give a detailed update on tick-borne diseases, with a focus on Lyme disease, the third article in our parasites series in association with European Scientific Counsel of Companion Animal Parasites (ESCAPP) (p474). This follows the recent launch of the UKs first Lyme disease vaccination for dogs. A growing threat to both humans and pets, disease prevention remains vital in dogs and people at high risk of B. burgdorferi infection to reduce the risk of complications from Lyme disease. Following European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) on 18 November 2013, Suzanne Eckford, Head of the Antimicrobial Resistance Team at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) presents the VMDs key messages on the responsible use and prescribing of antibiotics for veterinarians working with companion animals (p478). This years EAAD followed the Chief Medical Officers annual report, which ranked antibiotic resistance as a threat to the UK, alongside terrorism. Conserving the effectiveness of currently-available antibiotics is crucial, and Suzanne and her team at the VMD encourage veterinarians to take this issue seriously. Professor John Innes provides an overview of the exciting and developing area of stem cell therapy, and its potential future in veterinary medicine (p480). With significant advances and application of cell-based therapies in canine musculoskeletal diseases, and expectations for this new treatment modality across a range of disease targets, is stem cell therapy medicine for a new generation?The past year has seen Companion animal undergo a number of changes: a new owner, new editorial board and a brand new look, and we thank you for your continued support. In 2014 we will be launching the journals brand new website, and have fantastic articles in the pipeline. See you all in the new year! CA Looking back, and ahead to 2014Jessica Daniels is Editor of Companion AnimalCompanion animal | December 2013, Volume 18 No 10 465EDITORIALEditorial Board Kathryn Pratschke MVB MVM CertSAS DiplECVS MRCVS Kathryn is an RCVS and European Specialist in small animal surgery and a senior lecturer and Head of Small Animal Surgery at the University of Glasgow. Malcom Ness BVetMed, MRCVS, DipECVS, CertSAO, FRCVS. Malcolm is a European Specialist in surgery and heads up the surgery team at Croft Veterinary Hospital in Northumberland. Giunio Bruto Cherubini DVM DECVN MRCVS Giunio is responsible for neurology/neurosurgery service at DWR and contributes to the undergraduate teaching programme at the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science.Natasha Mitchell MVB DVOphthal MRCVS Natasha has an RCVS Diploma in Veterinary Ophthalmology and runs a referral ophthalmology service in Limerick, Ireland.Ian Wright BVMS BSc MSc MRCVS Ian has a Masters degree in Veterinary Parasitology and is a member of the European Scientific Counsel of Companion Animal Parasites (ESCCAP UK).Anna Meredith MA VetMB PhD CertLAS DZooMed MRCVS Anna is Head of the Exotic Animal and Wildlife Service at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh. John Chitty BVetMed CertZooMed CBiol MSB MRCVS John is part owner at Anton Vets, Hants. He works almost entirely with birds, reptiles, small mammals and zoological species.Kate Bradley MA VetMB PhD DVR DipECVDI MRCVSKate is a Senior Clinical Fellow in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging for the University of Bristol/Langford Veterinary Services. Andrew Denning BVetMed CertVR DVDI MRCVS Andrew is a Partner at the New Priory Veterinary Hospital, and also part-time radiologist for North Downs Specialist Referrals and VetCT Specialists.Mark Craig BVSC MRCVS Cert SAD Mark runs Re-Fur-All Referrals, a veterinary dermatology referral service in the south of England and midlands.Mark Lowrie MA VetMB MVM DipECVN MRCVS Mark is an RCVS and European specialist in veterinary neurology (ECVN). He works at Davies Veterinary specialists, Hertfordshire.10.12968/coan.2013.18.10.465