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Party leaders urged to defend animal welfare laws
caged dog
‘All parties should deliver meaningful action to deliver on the UK’s desired identity as a world leader in animal welfare'.
Calls for five-year jail terms for animal cruelty

A coalition of animal welfare groups is urging all party leaders to protect and strengthen animal welfare laws, ahead of the General Election in June.

In an open letter to all election candidates, 21 charities and campaign groups call for a national database of those convicted of animal cruelty, as well as a five-year maximum jail term for these offences.

Candidates are also urged to protect laws such as the Animal Welfare Act, Hunting Act, Protection of Badgers Act, Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations.

The laws protecting animals govern areas such as cruelty, the trade in endangered species, hunting and shooting, bird and habitat protection, live animal transport, animal experimentation, organised animal fighting and the commercial trade in animals.

Concerns were raised that these laws could be weakened, repealed or replaced following the election or Brexit. Signatories include the Born Free Foundation, International Fund for Animal Welfare and National Animal Welfare Trust.

Party leaders were also encouraged to tackle issues such as trophy hunting and whaling.

The letter reads: ’We have come together at this election to call upon all political parties to include a clear commitment in their manifestos to maintain and strengthen existing protections for the welfare of animals, reflecting science and society’s growing understanding of the physical and emotional needs of animals.

‘All parties should deliver meaningful action to deliver on the UK’s desired identity as a world leader in animal welfare, including delivering a complete ban on the ivory and rhino horn trade, and ensuring that the global commercial whaling ban remains in place, and—critically—ensuring that promoting higher animal welfare is an essential precondition of any existing and new UK trade deals post-Brexit.’

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Survey seeks to learn about racehorse aftercare

News Story 1
 The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is launching a survey to improve understanding of aftercare for thoroughbreds. The survey has been emailed to trainers, who are asked to share their own experiences, with a focus on life after horses finish their racing careers. It forms part of an equine health and welfare strategy being developed by the BHA. 

News Shorts
Charity welcomes new ambassadors

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home has appointed the actor Anthony Head and renowned canine behaviourist, Sarah Fisher, as official ambassadors. They join existing ambassadors Paul O’Grady, Amanda Holden, David Gandy and Jacqueline Wilson.

Anthony is best known for his roles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Iron Lady and Girlfriends. He has previously lent his voice to Battersea’s videos and appeals, as well as performing readings at the charity’s Christmas Carol Concert and Collars & Coats Gala Ball.

Meanwhile Sarah has worked across all three of the charity’s centres, offering advice in dealing with a variety of complex and challenging dogs. She has also fostered several Battersea animals and trained many members of staff in using the Tellington Touch method of training, to keep dogs calm and relaxed.