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New welfare codes for laying hens welcomed
The code encourages owners and keepers to use local and national sources of disease surveillance.
Codes highlight benefit of veterinary surveillance systems 

Veterinary organisations have welcomed a new welfare code for laying hens, which was laid before parliament this week (5 June).

The new Code of Practice for the Welfare of Laying Hens and Pullets is one of a series of welfare codes being reviewed and updated by Defra.

It has been welcomed by the BVA, British Veterinary Poultry Association and the Veterinary Public Health Association.

BVA president John Fishwick said the association is “delighted” to see the benefit of veterinary surveillance systems highlighted. The code encourages owners and keepers to use local and national sources of disease surveillance to improve their understanding of poultry disease patterns and the “local health and welfare landscape”.

He added: “We are also pleased to see signposting within the Code of Practice to the Humane Slaughter Association’s Code of Practice for the Disposal of Chicks in Hatcheries, which outlines in detail information about humane methods of killing and good practice.
 
“The British poultry industry has some of the highest welfare standards in the world and the veterinary profession is fully committed to working with Defra on further enhancing animal welfare codes to reflect best industry practice.”
 

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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.