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Equine charities welcome agreement with OIE
The agreement is set to improve animal welfare globally.
Agreement hailed as 'a great day for animal welfare'

Equine charities have welcomed an agreement with the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) that is set to improve animal welfare across the world.

Last week, the International Coalition for Animal Welfare (ICFAW) and the OIE signed a cooperation agreement that will further advance their close working relationship. As ICFAW members, The Donkey Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare have hailed the agreement, which will give them more power to influence OIE animal welfare activities.

“This is a great day for animal and equine welfare. As a member of ICFAW, World Horse Welfare is delighted that the OIE has formally recognised our coalition as a partner in helping to set and improve animal welfare standards worldwide, particularly those regarding horses, donkeys and mules,” said World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers. 

Valentina Riva, advocacy manager at The Donkey Sanctuary, adds: “The agreement gives us more influence, official status and a formal platform to engage directly with the OIE and to participate in its activities. Most of the OIE animal welfare-related activities now aim to focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The agreement between the OIE and the ICFAW will cover cooperation activities on the roles and responsibilities of the veterinary profession on animal welfare, cooperation on the development and revision of international animal welfare standards and guidelines that are relevant to both organisations.

ICFAW chair Alexandra Hammond-Seaman, says: “In recent years ICFAW and OIE have established excellent collaboration and many ICFAW members are supporting and participating in OIE lead initiatives developed to assist implementation.

“We are delighted that in this General Session a formal cooperation agreement between ICFAW and OIE has been adopted and we believe that by working together we can better meet the animal welfare challenges ahead and promote good animal welfare practices, which ultimately benefit animals and people.” 

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.