It has been reported that a purified extract from sheep hypothalami inhibited growth hormone (GH) release in rats. This somatotropin-release-inhibiting factor (SRIF), or somatostatin, is a tetradecapeptide and has been prepared synthetically (Brazeau, Vale, Burgus, Ling, Butcher, Rivier and Guillemin, 1973). In addition, _SRIF has been reported t o inhibit the release of other hormones which have major effects upon growth and metabolism such as insulin (Koerker, Ruch, Chideckel, Palmer, Goodner, Ensinck and Gale, 1974), glucagon (Ruch, Koerker, Carino, Johnson, Webster, Ensinck, Goodner and Gale, 1973) and thyroid stimulating hormone (Vale, Rivier, Brazeau and Guillemin, 1974). Furthermore, SRIF has also been shown to be present in large quantities i n the gastrointestinal tract where it controls the release of many gut hormones (Schusdziarra, Zyzhar and Rouiller, 1980). Somatostatin seems, therefore, to be centrally involved in regulating digestion and absorption of food and the subsequent distribution of the absorbed nutrients into tissues within the body. Its removal from the blood circulation by passive immunization increased GH concentrations in plasma in rats (Arimura and Schally, 1976) and prevented decreases in GH concentration as a result of stress (Arimura, Smith and Schally, 1976). Similarly, removal of SRIF by active immunization has been reported to result in higher plasma GH levels in lambs (Varner, Davis and Reeves, 1980; Spencer, Garssen and Hart, 1983b). However, this increase in circulating GH did not appear to have a constant effect in later studies and resulted in inconclusive effects on sheep growth. Laarveld, Chaplin and Kerr (1986) and Spencer, Garssen and Bergstrom (1983a) observed increased growth with improved food efficiency in crossbred and Dutch moor lambs respectively, immunized against SRIF, whereas Varner et al. (1980) reported a significantly lower growth rate in male Columbia lambs and others (Fitzsimons and Hanrahan, 1984; Galbraith, Wigzell, Scaife and Henderson, 1985; Garssen, Welling and Spencer, 1984) concluded that immunization against SRIF did not affect growth in crossbred lambs. It has also been reported that immuno-neutralization of SRIF can lead to enhanced milk production early in lactation n i goats (Spencer and Garssen, 1985).