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Current legislation will not allow Lynx release, NSA warns
Under current law, farmers are allowed to shoot lynx that are causing their animals distress.
Species classed as dangerous under 1976 act

Current legislation will not allow for the proposed reintroduction of the lynx to the UK, the National Sheep Association (NSA) has warned.

In a statement, the NSA said that it understands Eurasian lynx are classed as dangerous animals under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 and it would therefore be an offence to keep them without a local authority licence.  

The organisation said that, at present, these licences are only available for zoo and captive animals - not for those being released into the wild.

“It is still not clear when the Lynx UK Trust will make an application for a release licence for lynx, but it has become clear there would need to be a change in current legislation to keep such a release legal,” commented Phil Stocker, NSA chief executive.

“In my opinion, this is very unlikely to happen in the near future given the raft of priority legislative work needing to be done after the Great Repeal Bill.”

The NSA also points out that, under current law, farmers are allowed to shoot lynx that are causing their animals distress. They understand that Lynx UK trust is working to get this law changed, meaning that the only option for farmers would be to seek compensation from the trust.  

The organisation states that it is opposed to this as it is unlikely that compensation funding could be guaranteed ‘in perpetuity’.

Mr Stocker added “We are confident current legislation will not facilitate a release and any appetite for a regulatory change at a time when there will be so many other priorities is unjustifiable.

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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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News Shorts
Farm to fork traceability championed in new service

Defra has created a new information service to offer farm to fork traceability when the UK leaves the EU. The Livestock Information Service, which is set to be operational from 2019, will identify and track animal movements via electronic IDs, meaning the industry and government are better placed to respond in the event of a disease outbreak.

Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”