Dairy farmers urged not to use Velactis

Farmers are being asked to stop using Velactis following a suspension by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

The suspension has been actioned on the veterinary medicine following reports of serious adverse events in cows, including recumbency – where cows lie down and are unable to stand up – and deaths.

Velactis is used as an aid in the abrupt drying-off in dairy cows, and farmers are urged to stop using the medicine and use an alternative method to dry off cattle.

Although the exact cause of these adverse events, such as recumbency or death, is yet to be determined, there is evidence to suggest that they may be linked to the use of Velactis.

NFU Scotland’s Animal Health and Welfare Policy Manager, Penny Johnston commented: “The health and welfare of our herds is of utmost priority for the industry, and given that there is some evidence to suggest the recumbency or deaths may be linked to the use of this medicine, we would urge all farmers to find an alternative to Velactis.

“We know Velactis has not been on the market long, and we support the decision to withdraw it following reports by farmers of potential effects on cattle.

“The UK has one of the highest welfare standards for its animals in the world, and we work hard to maintain that status. NFU Scotland is encouraging vets and farmers to submit to the VMD any reports of adverse events associated with the use of Velactis by contacting the Scottish Government or directly to CEVA Sante Animale for further investigation if required.”

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