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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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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at