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Consultation opens on risk classification of veterinary antimicrobials
The updated categorisation includes additional criteria, such as the availability of alternative antimicrobials.
Updated categorisation considers all classes of antimicrobials

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has opened a public consultation on the risk classification of antimicrobials used in animals.

The consultation follows the publication of updated scientific advice on the impact of veterinary antimicrobials on public and animal health. Once finalised, it will help decision-makers in the EU create guidelines for use of antimicrobials in veterinary medicine.

Prepared by the Antimicrobial Advice Ad Hoc Expert Group (AMEG), the update considers the experience gained since the categorisation of antimicrobials was first published in 2014.

In the 2014 classification, three categories were proposed for the classification of Critically Important antimicrobials. These are defined by the World Health Organisation as the most relevant for human health.

The updated categorisation considers all classes of antimicrobials and includes additional criteria, such as the availability of alternative antimicrobials in veterinary medicine. It is comprised of four categories (A-D), of which each are accompanied by an action word for clarity:

    •    Category A (“Avoid”) includes antimicrobial classes not currently authorised in veterinary medicine in the EU. For these medicines, their use in food-producing animals is prohibited and they may be given to individual companion animals only under exceptional circumstances.
    •    Category B (“Restrict”) refers to quinolones, 3rd- and 4th-generation cephalosporins and polymyxins. Use of these antimicrobials in animals should be restricted to mitigate the risk to public health.
    •    Category C (“Caution”) covers antimicrobials for which, in general, alternatives in human medicine in the EU exist, but in veterinary medicine there are only few alternatives in certain indications. These antimicrobials should only be used when there are no antimicrobial substances in Category D that would be effective.
    •    Category D (“Prudence”) is the lowest risk category. Antimicrobials belonging to this category can be used in animals in a prudent manner. This means that unnecessary use and long treatment periods should be avoided and group treatment should be restricted to situations where individual treatment is not feasible.
   
The consultation will remain until 30 April 2018. Comments should be submitted to vet-guidelines@ema.europa.eu using this template.

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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RCVS Fellowship board chair elections get underway

Voting for the 2019 RCVS Fellowship Chair election is now underway. This year four candidates are standing for election, including Dr Robert Huey, Professor John Innes, Professor Liz Mossop and Professor Ian Ramsey.

The Chair will attend and preside over Fellowship meetings and take the lead in consolidating the Fellowship’s position as the learned society of the RCVS. Fellows will receive an email containing a link to the online voting form, as well as candidates’ details and manifestos. Voting closes at 5pm on Thursday, 5 September.