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Reminder on antibiotic use in neonatal lambs
‘We would particularly ask colleagues to refrain from using high-priority critically important antibiotics in sheep.’
Vets and farmers provide advice on responsible use 

Sheep vets are being reminded not to treat all neonatal lambs with an antibiotic from the start of the new lambing season.

In a letter to Vet Record, specialist vet Fiona Lovatt and others raised concerns about the high number of neonatal lambs that have, historically, been given a dose of prophylactic antibiotics.

Sales of lamb oral antibiotics reached 10.5 million doses in 2015. Anecdotal reports also suggest that ‘in some regions, there may be a significant use of either tablets or other antibiotics that are not licensed for use in sheep’.

Authors of the letter continued: ‘Although veterinary surgeons are in the privileged position of being allowed to prescribe medicines under the veterinary cascade, the use of unauthorised products must be fully justified and have clearly auditable clinical evidence.

‘We would particularly ask colleagues to refrain from using high-priority critically important antibiotics in sheep.’

The letter, which was signed by representatives from the Livestock Board NFU, National Sheep Association and Sheep Veterinary Society, said: ‘In individual flocks with close veterinary supervision, it may be appropriate use targeted control measures that include antibiotic treatment.’

Further information on the responsible use of antibiotics in sheep can be found in the Sheep Veterinary Society’s Responsible Use of Antimicrobials Good Practice Guidelines. This guidance aims to provide a summary of current information on disease control, whilst encouraging the replacement, refinement and reduction in antibiotic use.

Resources and case studies can also be found on: 

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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.