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Government confirms maximum transition period for zinc oxide
Medicines containing zinc oxide are used in piglets for the prevention, or treatment and control, of diarrhoea.

Farmers have five years to find alternative strategy

The UK government has confirmed the maximum transition period of five years for zinc oxide to support the adoption of alternative management strategies.

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) said that it strongly encourages the responsible use of medicines during this time.

‘The VMD recognises the challenge that the withdrawal presents and is committed to finding ways to assist with the transition,’ it said in a statement.
'We will invite representatives of the pig industry to meet with us in the coming weeks to discuss implementation of the Commission Decision.’

On 26 June, the EC adopted a decision to withdraw the marketing authorisations (MAs) for veterinary medicines containing zinc oxide administered by mouth to food-producing species. Member States now have up to five years to withdraw existing national MAs for these products.

In the UK, there are three veterinary medicines authorised for oral administration to food-producing animals that contain zinc oxide. These are used in piglets for the prevention, or treatment and control, of diarrhoea.

But late last year, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) Veterinary Committee concluded that zinc oxide in piglet feed should be withdrawn, as the benefits are outweighed by the risk to the environment and co-selection of antimicrobial resistance.

The VMD said there are a limited number of vaccines authorised within the EU for the prevention of diarrhoea in piglets. These are indicated for specific pathogens.

There are also a number of antibiotics that are authorised for treatment, or for prevention and treatment, of specific causes of diarrhoea in piglets. For more information, refer to the Product Information Database.


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Campaign highlights ‘devastating impact’ of smoking around pets

News Story 1
 Leading vet charity PDSA has launched a campaign highlighting the ‘devastating impact’ that smoking can have on pets. The launch coincides with National No Smoking Day (14 March 2018) and aims to raise awareness of the risks of passive smoking and how to keep pets safe.

“Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets,” said PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan. “We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”  

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Voting opens for RCVS council elections

Eligible veterinary surgeons can now vote in this year’s RCVS Council elections. Four out of the 10 candidates are already on council and are standing for re-election: David Catlow, Mandisa Greene, Neil Smith, Susan Paterson. The remaining six candidates are not currently on council: John C Davies, Karlien Heyman, John Innes, Thomas Lonsdale, Matthew Plumtree and Iain Richards.

Further information on the candidates can be found on the RCVS website: