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RSPCA warns of knock-on effect
Milk price cuts will affect dairy cow welfare

Shoppers have been urged by the RSPCA to avoid purchasing cut-price milk in the supermarkets as it could have a knock-on effect on dairy cow welfare.

From August this year, it is expected that the price farmers should expect to be paid for the milk they produce will be around 5 pence less per litre than current earnings. Some supermarkets have contracts with farmers where the price of milk is linked to the cost of production; however, those who do not will be affected the most.

The main worry for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is that the drop in price will badly impact the welfare of dairy cows.

Deputy Head of the RSPCA’s farm animal science team and former dairy herdsman, John Avizienius, said: “Although a drop in cost of milk and cheap deals might seem like great news for shoppers we are concerned that ultimately it will be cows which will pay the price.

“Farmers cannot produce milk at a loss, it’s simply not sustainable, they cannot survive like that. We are in the ridiculous situation where milk is cheaper than bottled water at some supermarkets - that simply cannot be right.

“I believe shoppers would be even happy to pay an extra one or two pence on a pint of milk if it safeguarded dairy cow welfare.”



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Public urged to provide homes for swifts

News Story 1
 The RSPB is calling on the public to help provide new homes for swifts, as figures show the birds' numbers have fallen to less than half what they were 20 years ago.

Swifts arrive in the UK late April-May and can spend up to three months in the country. The RSPB attributes the birds’ decline to modern buildings, which lack the nooks and crannies they need to build nests.

While some house builders have agreed to integrate swift homes into new buildings, the RSPB believes more can be done to help this incredible bird. 'Just, 1,000 additional new nest boxes could make a difference’, the charity said.  

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News Shorts
Detection time for omeprazole reduced to 48 hours in racehorses

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced that the detection time for omeprazole has been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours. This is effective from 1 February 2019.

Omeprazole can be prescribed for the management of gastric ulcers in racehorses; however, studies have recently become available that show no direct effect of omeprazole on performance.

Tim Morris, the Authority’s Director of Equine Science and Welfare, commented: “Medication control in horse racing is essential to allow treatment for good welfare but also to ensure fair racing by medication withdrawal before racing. Trainers have asked for more information, especially on anti-ulcer medications, and we have used existing information to make a harmonised detection time for omeprazole available as soon as we could.”