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VMD urged to overturn decision on flunixin
Flunixin is a common analgesic used in horses with colic

Product suspended over potential risk to humans

Leading equine veterinary association BEVA is urging the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) to overturn its decision to suspend the sale of flunixin.

Flunixin is a common analgesic used in horses with colic, as well as for those undergoing surgery and other conditions. On Thursday (26 July), the VMD suspended the product after the Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) said that a solvent in the injectable formulation - diethanolamine - could pose a risk to humans.

Now BEVA is calling on the VMD to overturn this decision in horses not destined for the human food chain, to reduce the potential impact on equine welfare. It argues that the decision had been made without warning or consultation with the veterinary profession.

“BEVA is fully supportive of all attempts to promote food safety, however, flunixin is widely viewed as the gold-standard painkiller in horses and is commonly used in horses undergoing both elective and emergency surgery, for the crippling pain associated with laminitis and for severe forms of colic,” said BEVA president Jonathan Pycock.

“BEVA is calling on the VMD to immediately enable limited batch release of flunixin for use in horses not destined for the human food chain in the interests of animal welfare. The equine veterinary profession has always been open to consultation with the VMD on a range of important matters relating to responsible medicine use, antibiotic resistance, horse identification, passports and the horse meat issue.

“BEVA is perplexed as to why the VMD failed to consult with the equine veterinary industry on the animal welfare impact of withdrawing such an important drug.”

Used widely throughout the veterinary industry, flunixin is the only medicine licensed for the treatment of sepsis. BEVA states that no recall notices have been issued and therefore veterinary surgeons may continue to prescribe medicines that are in stock.

A disruption to the supply chain, however, could lead to shortages of this medicine in clinical practic, it said. 

Image (C) Redwings Horse Sanctuary

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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.”