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Vets meet to resolve isoflurane supply problem
Isoflurane is one of the most commonly-used veterinary anaesthetic agents.

Special manufacturer to partially fill gap in supply 

A solution to the temporary isoflurane supply problem has been reached by the VMD following discussion with the BEVA, BSAVA and the AVA.

According to a press release, one special manufacturer is intending to produce isoflurane to fill or partially fill the gap in supply, which should be available in around three to four weeks time.

One of the most commonly-used veterinary anaesthetic agents, the production of isoflurane was temporarily ceased last week due to a mechanical problem on the production line. With limited stocks of alternative products - and the potential for supply to be restricted - clinics raised concern they would not be able to perform emergency surgery over the Christmas period.

Having looked into alternative sources of isoflurane, the BEVA, BSVA and the AVA put forward ways the VMD might be able to alleviate the risks to animal welfare.

In a press release, the organisations said the VMD ‘responded rapidly and positively’. David Rendle, a member of BEVA’s Health and Medicines Committee, said:

“BEVA has a close relationship with the veterinary pharmaceutical industry and will always work swiftly and collaboratively to help develop practical solutions to supply problems for our members.”

BSAVA President Philip Lhermette praised the VMD for such prompt action. He said: “The VMD listened to our concerns and acted immediately. By doing so they have addressed and helped to prevent any potential welfare risks associated with a lack of isoflurane.”  

Carl Bradbrook, AVA junior vice president, reminded clinicians to “seek advice when considering the use of unfamiliar anaesthetic protocols.”

The associations stressed that the situation doesn’t give vets free rein to ignore the medicines legislation. 'The cascade must still be followed, and client informed consent obtained if an unregulated anaesthetic is used', they said. 

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”