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Study reveals link between vitamin D and heavier lambs
Vitamin D3 concentrations were higher in sheep with lighter faces.

Researchers explore link between vitamin D and health outcomes in Scottish hill sheep

Sheep with higher levels of vitamin D give birth to heavier lambs the following year, a new has found.  

The research, published in Scientific Reports, assessed the link between vitamin D levels and health outcomes in Scottish hill sheep.

The findings are comparable to studies in humans, which have linked vitamin D deficiency to low birth weight.

The study also revealed that vitamin D3 concentrations were higher in sheep with lighter faces than those with darker wool. Levels of vitamin D2, however, did not vary between the breeds.

Researchers say their discovery is consistent with their earlier studies in Soay Sheep and demonstrates how coat colour can influence vitamin D levels in animals.

The work forms part of ongoing research into the role of vitamin D and animal health at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and The Roslin Institute.

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.