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Ketamine reclassified as a Class B drug
ketamine
Ketamine has been linked to chronic toxicity to the bladder.
Law changes include amendments to the control of tramadol

Changes to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 come into force today (June 10), including the reclassification of ketamine as a Class B drug and changes to the control of tramadol.

Ketamine is now a Class B drug under Schedule II of the 1971 act, meaning the maximum penalty for unlawful possession has increased from two to five years in jail.

Widely used in the veterinary profession as an anaesthetic and analgesic, the drug is also used recreationally.

A report released earlier this year revealed heavy and frequent misuse of ketamine is linked to various physical and psychological problems, including chronic toxicity to the bladder leading to numerous reports of individuals having to have their bladders removed.

In its 2014 review, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said 120,000 individuals are estimated to have misused the drug between 2012 and 2013.

As of today, tramadol has also been classified as a Class C drug under Schedule 2 of the 1971 act, meaning the maximum penalty for unlawful possession is two years in jail.

The drug has also been added to Schedule 3 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 and Schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs (Safe Custody) Regulations 1973, meaning it is exempt from the safe custody requirements.

Tramadol is of significant medical use in treating moderate to severe pain. Overdose results in drowsiness, agitation, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure and vomiting.

According to the Home Office seizures are more common with tramadol overdose than with other opiods, occurring in up to 15 per cent of cases. In cases of severe poisoning, coma, seizures and low blood pressure can occur.

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AWF Student Grant open for submissions

News Story 1
 Applications are open for the Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) Student Grant Scheme for innovative research projects designed to impact animal welfare.

Undergraduate and postgraduate students of veterinary science, veterinary nursing, agriculture studies and animal welfare are invited to submit their proposals to undertake research projects next year.

Grants are decided based on the project’s innovation, relevance to topical animal welfare issues and ability to contribute towards raising animal welfare standards. For more information visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
SPANA film highlights plight of working animals overseas

Animal welfare charity SPANA (The Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad) has teamed up with Brian Blessed and other famous voices to highlight the plight of working animals overseas.

In a new animated film, the celebrities raise awareness by showing the solidarity of the UK's own working animals on strike. A sniffer dog (Brian Blessed), police horse (Peter Egan) and sheepdog (Deborah Meaden) are shown ignoring their duties and protesting in solidarity with animals in developing countries.

SPANA chef executive Geoffrey Dennis said: "We are so grateful to Deborah, Peter and Brian for lending their voices to our new film, and for speaking up for millions of working animals overseas. SPANA believes that a life of work should not mean a life of suffering, and it is only thanks to people’s generosity and support that we can continue our vital work improving the lives of these animals."