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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 147

Date:- 10 April 2004

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THE animal loving British are neglecting their pets' teeth, to the extent that over 7.6 million cats and dogs are probably suffering from undiagnosed tooth ache.

Almost 80% of cat and dog owners living in the Granada TV region say that they are aware that their pet's teeth need as much care as their own. Unfortunately, this awareness is not being translated into action, 66% admit they have no oral hygiene routine for their pet. Only 38% claim to have ever taken the animal for a dental check-up sees the second lowest figure in the UK.

These are among the conclusions of a research programme commissioned to coincide with the launch of the Dental Leadership campaign with a nationwide initiative to get us all to brush-up on our pet's teeth.

Dot Creighton, President of the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA), said:- "Dogs and cats could be suffering in pain and misery because people are simply not aware that they should be taking their pets for a check-up.

Animals cannot express pain in the way we can. They are going to have a very sore mouth by the time it becomes apparent to owners."

Nationally, there are around 13.5 million domestic cats and dogs, and by the time they are three years old, up to 70% of them will have some sort of dental problem, that is around 7.6 million animals.

The figures imply that by the time our pet reach 6 or 7 years old almost all of them will have undiagnosed dental trouble.

"If left untreated, dental problems can cause infections which will almost inevitably lead to additional complications and illness, not to say misery,"
said TV Vet David Grant, MBE, of the RSPCA's Harmsworth Animal Hospital, who is backing the campaign.

Mr Grant is one of a host of high-profile veterinary figures who have lined up to support the campaign, Norman Johnston BV&S FAVD DipAVDC DipEVDC MRCVS, a vet who is one of the leading UK experts on animal dentistry, says that in extreme cases untreated dental problems may even lead to the death of a much-loved cat or dog.

"The thing is, these problems are 100% preventable,"
said Mr Johnston. "All that is necessary is that the animal receives good dental care from the outset. However, once dental problems have set-in, they are incurable - all you can do is 'manage' them, and reduce the discomfort."

Figures from the veterinary profession indicate that vets detect 96% of dental problems when the animal is brought in for quite a different reason. Only 4% are detected as a result of owners specifically visiting the vet because they suspect the pet has tooth ache.

The campaign, which has the support of the British Veterinary Dental Association (BVDA), as well as the BVNA, is designed to encourage pet owners to be aware of the problem and to do something about it.

"Vets will be delighted to make an appointment to check over your pets teeth,"
said Mr Johnston. "And our key message is precisely that,  go and see your vet, or the vet nurse, and get some good advice as well as having your pets' teeth thoroughly checked.

No loving pet owner would want to think that their dog or cat was in pain, but the evidence is clear that many of them are."

As part of the campaign, special courses and educational bursaries are being made available to veterinary professionals to help them keep their dental skills topped up.

A special web site has been launched, which gives the full results of the survey, along with useful information on looking after your pet's teeth. You can visit it at


SOME 150 new jobs, from shop floor operatives to key specialist positions, are being created at a brand new household and toiletries production facility for the North West - an investment of over £10 million. The hi-tech 10,000 sqm factory being built for Remploy, the UK's largest employer of disabled people, will help the company to significantly expand its business in St Helens, and dramatically increase staffing levels as a result.

The new factory, one of the largest recently constructed in the North West:-

· Will be equipped with state-of-the-art mixing and formulation equipment and operate to pharmaceutical standards

· Will set a new benchmark in provisions for disabled workers - the entire factory has been planned with their requirements in mind, and incorporates specially designed facilities such as a lift that can be used in the event of fire

The new Remploy Household & Toiletries factory plans to produce each year:-

· Two million tonnes of shampoos and conditioners

· Over twenty million bottles of washing-up liquid

· Enough foam bath to fill 400 Olympic swimming pools

Its product go to major international companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Unilever and PZ Cussons, as well as directly to high street stores as part of Remploy's 'Only Natural' range.

Reemploy is recruiting for the plant, on the Lea Green Industrial Estate, in conjunction with St Helen's Jobcentre Plus and its own Remploy Interwork division, which places and supports disabled people in employment. The company is aiming to fill the roles in time for the opening of the factory in the summer.

An informal open day will be held on Friday 23April 2004 between 10am and 3pm at St Helen's Hilton Hotel, on the Linkway West next to Safeway's Supermarket. Advisors from Remploy and Jobcentre Plus will be on hand to offer further information and commence the recruitment process.

General manager Russell Booth explains:- "This really is good news for St Helens. Remploy Household & Toiletries prides itself on the abilities of its employees, most of whom are disabled. Whilst we're seeking a broad range of skills, we will be offering extensive training, both vocational and in personal development, to ensure our workforce is the very best it can be."

Traditionally an area of higher than average unemployment, the North West is now enjoying success in attracting new business into the region. Remploy has been a part of St Helens for many years; the decision to build a new factory in the town was made with the full support of St Helens council and its urban regeneration and economic development units.

Letters to Editor:-

"WHEN Mel Gibson planned to make a film about Christ, he decided, rightly or wrongly, to focus on His death and not on His resurrection. But a dead Christ could not forgive our sins, or give us power over them, or fill us with His love, joy and peace, or walk with us through the valley of the shadow of death. It’s therefore not surprising that people come out of the cinema weeping instead of rejoicing! 

The first followers of Jesus were full of sadness after His death on the cross because they didn’t really believe His resurrection would happen, even though He’d repeatedly said this about Himself,
“They will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.” [Mark 10:34] They just couldn’t get their heads around these last seven words but then suddenly Jesus appeared alive and well after three days in the grave! He spoke to them in a voice they knew so well, “Peace be with you, don’t be upset, don’t let doubting questions take over, touch Me! A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” It all seemed too good to be true! However His resurrection is too true to be wrong! The evidence is overwhelming, and those who have tried to disprove it have often ended up believing it!  Easter eggs symbolise new life, like Christ breaking out of the tomb. But daffodils, with their golden trumpets, symbolise the dramatic general resurrection of the dead at the second coming of Christ. Scripture says, “We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible.” [1 Corinthians 15:51]. Death, our greatest enemy, is vanquished! Immortality can be yours through Christ! Repent! Believe! And Rejoice! "  

Rev. David V Jebson, Flintshire.

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