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Concerns over rise in ‘anti-vax’ remedies online
“We are very concerned to see unlicensed, potentially dangerous and ineffective treatments being sold online."
Investigation uncovers misleading claims about 'nosodes' 

Millions of dogs and cats are said to be at risk from a rise in the number of ‘anti-vaccination’ remedies being sold online.

A recent Sunday Telegraph investigation revealed misleading claims that products made from the diseased flesh of animals could offer immunity from fatal conditions.

Online retail giant Amazon last week agreed to remove advertisements for such products, which are known as ‘homeopathic nosodes’.

According to The Telegraph, these treatments included Herpes Combination 50mg, which was described online as offering immunity to litters of puppies if tablets are administered to pregnant mothers.

Vets and animal welfare charities have raised concerns that owners opting for homeopathic remedies instead of vaccines could cause a rise in serious preventable diseases such as parvovirus and leptospirosis.

“This is truly frightening,” veterinary surgeon Danny Chambers told The Telegraph. “Safe and effective vaccines exist for these diseases. Using unregulated and scientifically implausible remedies bought from Amazon will leave your pet with no protection and at a high risk of contracting them.”

RSPCA veterinary director Caroline Allen added: “We are very concerned to see unlicensed, potentially dangerous and ineffective treatments being sold online and would urge people to report these products to the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

“While there does seem to be an increasing amount of ‘anti-vax’ material online, this is not supported by a genuine evidence base.”

After being alerted to the Telegraph’s findings, a Defra spokesperson said: “It is illegal to sell products making false medicinal claims and we work closely with companies such as Amazon to stop this. We will bring these products to their attention immediately.”

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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.”