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Cutting antibiotic use has no adverse affect on cattle health and welfare - study 
The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance has put pressure on the livestock industry to reduce its use of antibiotics.
Researchers analyse data from seven dairy farms

Ceasing the use of certain antibiotics does not have an adverse effect on the health, welfare or production of dairy cows, according to new research.

In the study, researchers collected data from seven dairy farms in North Somerset that had stopped using the ‘highest priority critically important antimicrobials’ (HP-CIAs), as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The findings, published in Vet Record, suggest that the health and welfare of dairy cattle can be maintained - and even improved - without the use of HP-CIAs. They also indicate that the complete cessation of HP-CIAs can lead to an overall reduction of antibiotic use on dairy farms.

“A cessation of the use of HP-CIAs and a decrease in the use of AMs within the livestock industry should be a key target for farmers and veterinary surgeons and has been shown to be achievable while maintaining animal health, welfare and production,” the authors conclude.

The growing threat of antimicrobial resistance to both human and animal health has put pressure on the livestock industry to reduce its use of antibiotics. In April 2017, the World Health Organisation identified quinolines and third- and fourth- generation cephalosporins as HP-CIAs because of the level of risk to human health.

The study, Ceasing the use of the highest priority critically important antimicrobials does not adversely affect production, health or welfare parameters in dairy cows, was conducted by veterinary researchers at the University of Bristol and the University of Surrey.

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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.”