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Campaign to remind farmers of the importance of vaccines
The uptake of vaccines in the sheep and cattle sectors is generally low.

#VaccinesWork to highlight variations in vaccine penetration

The Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) has launched a new campaign to remind prescribers and farmers of the importance of vaccines in protecting all farm animal sectors.

The campaign, #VaccinesWork, aims to highlight variations in vaccine penetration between farm and animal sectors. In particular, it will show where there may be scope for greater uptake and the gains from storing, handling and administering vaccines correctly.

RUMA says the poultry and fish sectors have had success in using vaccines for many years as part of comprehensive and integrated health programmes, and that it hopes other sectors will take inspiration from this.

“Vaccination is not a ‘silver bullet’ for disease control, but it can be an important part of an infection prevention and control of disease planning process, which all farms should have in place in consultation with their vet,” explains RUMA’s secretary general Chris Lloyd.

“In the sheep and cattle sectors, uptake of vaccines is generally low, so the campaign will ask farmers and prescribers to consider whether there is scope to increase levels of vaccination to improve herd or flock immunity – and potentially profitability – on their farms.
 
“Vaccination is already much higher in pigs, but improving how vaccines are stored, handled and administered could boost results significantly.”

RUMA said that in order to ensure prescribed vaccines work effectively, it is essential that the manufacturer and prescriber’s instructions on storage, dose rate and dose interval are followed accurately.

It adds that a disease challenge may present itself for which there is no suitable licensed vaccine. In consultation with the farm vet, laboratories can sometimes develop autogenous vaccines specific to the pathogen causing the problem on the farm.

In some circumstances, the vet may also be able to import a suitable vaccine from either another EU country or from outside of the EU, said RUMA. For more information about #VaccinesWork, please click here

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ZSL London Zoo shares animal X-rays

News Story 1
 A selection of X-ray images showing the inner workings of frogs, turtles, snakes and geckos have been shared by veterinary surgeons at ZSL London Zoo.

Taken as part of a routine health check, the images have been shared as part of ‘Vets in Action’ week - a hand’s on role-playing experience for children that explores the life of a zoo vet.

ZSL London Zoo veterinary nurse Heather Mackintosh said: “It’s great to be able to share the work that goes on behind the scenes at the Zoo to keep our residents in tip-top condition – and our visitors are always amazed to find out more about their favourite animals.” 

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News Shorts
Vets in developing nations given free access to BSAVA’s online library

BSAVA has teamed up with the WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to offer vets in developing nations free access to its online library.

The Association’s ‘Foundation Collection’ is comprised of more than 70 hours of articles, lectures and book chapters covering topics such as basic handling skills, working on a budget and emergency triage. Some of the countries set to benefit include Albania, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania.

Nicolette Hayward, of BSAVA International Affairs Committee said: “Our mission is to promote excellence in small animal practice through education and science, so we are delighted to work with WSAVA, the WSAVA Foundation and FECAVA to share these high-quality resources to the veterinary profession in low and middle-income countries.”