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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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Scheme to protect wildlife and reduce flooding

News Story 1
 Natural England has announced a new scheme to improve flood protection, boost wildlife and create 160 hectares of new saltmarsh. The £6 million scheme in Lancashire will effectively unite the RSPB’s Hesketh Out Marsh Reserve and Natural England’s Ribble Estuary National Nature Reserve. The completed reserve will be the largest site of its kind in the north of England. 

News Shorts
Welfare event to discuss ethical dilemmas faced by vets

Students and ethics experts will host an event on the difficult moral challenges facing vets. Ethical issues, such as euthanasia and breeding animals for certain physical traits, will be discussed by prominent speakers including TV vet Emma Milne and RSPCA chief vet James Yeates. Other topics will include how to tackle suspected animal abuse and the extent of surgical intervention.

The conference will look at how these dilemmas affect the wellbeing of vets, and explore how to better prepare veterinary students for work. It will be held at the University of Edinburgh’s Easter Bush Campus from 30 September - 1 October 2017. Tickets can be purchased here.