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Scottish MP rejects proposals for ban on live animal exports
The government is currently considering a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter.

Fergus Ewing says move could harm the livestock sector

Scotland’s rural economy secretary Fergus Ewing has announced his opposition to proposals for a ban on live animal exports.

The government is currently considering a ban on the export of live animals for slaughter and is due to launch a consultation in the Spring. But Mr Ewing is reported to have said that he will not support anything that creates further challenges for the Scottish farming industry.

According to BBC News, Mr Ewing believes the move could cause “substantial harm” to the livestock sector, as well as farming on neighbouring islands.

He said: “The Scottish government will, therefore, not support the banning of live exports of livestock, but will remain committed to the welfare of all animals during transport adhering to the current rigorous standards which apply – standards and regulations provided by the EU, that are already world class and protect us all through animal, plant and chemical health measures and enabling our produce to be traded around the world.”

Responding, Scottish animal protection charity OneKind said that the comments are "unsubstantiated and out of touch with the Scottish public".

“A ban on the export of live animals outside of the UK would have no impact whatsoever on the ability of farmers on the islands to sell their livestock within the UK, nor would it prevent businesses selling meat products outside of the UK,” said OneKind director Harry Huyton.

“It is designed simply to prevent the abhorrent practice of sending live sheep, cows and other animals on long journeys, in inhumane conditions where animals often give birth on lorries, suffer injuries and even die."

On Monday 26 February, MPs will gather in Westminster to discuss and debate banning live animal exports in favour of a carcass-only trade. The debate was triggered after a petition garnered more than 63,000 signatures. 

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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”