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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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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.