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Warning over rise in blackleg cases
Vaccination is the best approach as antibiotic treatment is unlikely to be effective unless it is begun in the very early stages.
Vaccination is the best approach, AHDB says

Farmers are being warned about a rise in cases of the clostridial disease blackleg.

The disease was the second most common diagnosis made when post-mortems were carried out on growing cattle at Farm Post Mortems Ltd between June and August 2017. The rise continued to be seen throughout September and October.

Blackleg is most commonly caused by the bacteria Clostridium chauvoei, which is generally found in soil and cattle faeces. Similar lesions are less commonly caused by Clostridium septicum or Clostridium novyi.

Young growing animals (six to 12 months) are most often affected, with cases increasing when animals are turned out.

Vaccination is the best approach as antibiotic treatment is unlikely to be effective unless it is begun in the very early stages, according to AHDB Beef & Lamb.

There is a vaccine available that covers just blackleg alone, or multivalent clostridial vaccines that also offer protection against the disease. Several clostridial vaccines are broad spectrum and prevent other important diseases such as black disease, clostridial abomasitis and disease caused by Clostridium perfringens.

Animals should be vaccinated from three months of age onwards. Two injections are required three to four weeks apart. Immunisation must be completed two or three weeks before the period of risk, which will vary depending on the date of turnout.

A yearly booster of a single injection should be given two to three weeks before the period of risk, and the interval for boosters should be no more than 12 months.

Farmers are advised to speak to their veterinary surgeon for advice.

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Sale of microbeads now banned

News Story 1
 The sale of products containing microbeads is now banned across England and Scotland, Defra has confirmed.

As part of government efforts to prevent these plastics ending up in the marine environment, retailers can no longer sell rinse-off cosmetics and personal care products containing microbeads. These tiny plastics were often added to products including face scrubs, soaps, toothpaste and shower gels.

Just a single shower is thought to send 100,000 of these beads down the drain and into the ocean, where it can cause serious harm to marine life. A ban on manufacturing products containing microbeads previously came into force in January this year. 

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News Shorts
George Eustice announces funding for Bovine Viral Diarrhoea

Farming minister George Eustice has announced a 5.7million funding package to help farmers tackle Bovine Viral Diarrhoea (BVD).

The funding will be available in England for three years through the Rural Development Programme and farmers will be able to apply for one-to-one farm advisory visits by a veterinary practitioner.

The project will recruit local vets who will then work with keepers of breeding cattle to tackle BVD on their farms.