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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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Nominations open for National Cat Awards 2020

News Story 1
 UK charity Cats Protection has announced that cat owners can nominate their pets for the National Cat Awards 2020 starting today.

The awards take place annually, celebrating heart warming stories of the positive impact that cats have on their owners. Cat owners have until Thursday 12 March to submit their nominations through the Cats Protection website. 

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Restriction zone lifted at Suffolk chicken farm

A one-kilometre restriction zone around a commercial chicken farm in mid-Suffolk has been lifted, following the completion of surveillance testing for avian influenza H5N3 with negative results.

Some 27,000 birds on the premises were culled after a veterinary surgeon identified the disease while investigating a fall in egg production. Poultry keepers are urged to take action to reduce the risk of disease in their flock by following government advice on biosecurity.