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Holidaymaker finds South African frog in suitcase
The frog will remain in captivity where it’ll be provided with specialist care.
RSPCA urges travellers to check their luggage

Travellers are being urged to check their luggage for stowaway creatures before going home after a frog flew more than 8,000 miles from South Africa to Nottinghamshire.

The warning comes from the RSPCA after animal collection officer Paula Jones was called out to the village of Darlton. A woman had returned from a holiday in South Africa and found the frog, which was about the size of a £2 coin, in her suitcase.

“The caller was unpacking from a recent trip abroad when a little frog hopped out of her bag,” ACO Jones said. “She managed to quickly confine the amphibian under an upturned box and contacted us for help.

“I went out to collect the frog and took him to a local farm with specialist facilities for exotic animals. He’s doing well considering his long journey but was very still when I first picked him up. He’s definitely not used to our cold climate as once warmed up was a lot more active.”

The RSPCA is frequently contacted by holidaymakers who have returned home with something they didn’t quite expect.

ACO Jones added: “We often get called out to collect lizards, frogs, crabs and spiders who have crawled into clothes and bags before flying home with their unsuspecting smugglers. We’ve even been called by people who have found potentially deadly scorpions in their suitcases!

“I hope this little frog’s remarkable journey will remind holidaymakers to always give their cases an extra thorough check before heading home - just in case they too pick up a surprising stowaway.”

The frog will remain in captivity where it’ll be provided with specialist care.

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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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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.”