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Study reveals link between vitamin D and heavier lambs
Vitamin D3 concentrations were higher in sheep with lighter faces.

Researchers explore link between vitamin D and health outcomes in Scottish hill sheep

Sheep with higher levels of vitamin D give birth to heavier lambs the following year, a new has found.  

The research, published in Scientific Reports, assessed the link between vitamin D levels and health outcomes in Scottish hill sheep.

The findings are comparable to studies in humans, which have linked vitamin D deficiency to low birth weight.

The study also revealed that vitamin D3 concentrations were higher in sheep with lighter faces than those with darker wool. Levels of vitamin D2, however, did not vary between the breeds.

Researchers say their discovery is consistent with their earlier studies in Soay Sheep and demonstrates how coat colour can influence vitamin D levels in animals.

The work forms part of ongoing research into the role of vitamin D and animal health at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute.

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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”