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Illegal veterinary medicines a ‘significant and growing problem’
Illegal veterinary medicines comprise of counterfeit, falsified and unregistered products.
Report identifies risks to animals and humans 

Illegal veterinary medicines are costing the global animal health industry an estimated $1-2 billion per year, according to a report by the global medicines association, HealthforAnimals.

The report, Illegal Veterinary Medicines: Impacts and Effective Control, is the first ever assessment of illegal veterinary medicines. It outlines the size of the illegal veterinary medicines market and identifies some of the major risks to animals, vets, people and business.

“For the Animal Health industry as a whole, illegal veterinary medicines are a significant and growing problem,” the report notes. “The continuing rapid growth in online buying and selling of products (e-commerce) and a parallel growth in international trade especially of small packages, has created new opportunities for trade in illegal veterinary medicines.”

Illegal veterinary medicines comprise of counterfeit, falsified and unregistered products and unapproved parallel imports. They also include compounded pharmaceuticals and illegal autogenous vaccines when these products are not manufactured according to regulation.

Risks identified by the report include damage to business reputation arising from safety issues and the associated loss of confidence in authentic medicines. It also notes a risk to human safety through the consumption of food from animals treated with illegal medicines, less effective control of zoonotic infections and risks of increasing antimicrobial and antiparasitic resistance.

The report makes a number of recommendations to develop an effective strategy for the control of illegal veterinary medicines. They include communicating an effective narrative with an emphasis on safety, collaborating with enforcement agencies, and using data to show trends and case studies.

HealthforAnimals says that it may take up to seven years and appropriate resources for the recommendations to come into effect and to see the full impact on illegal veterinary medicines.

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”