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Horse microchipping to become mandatory
"...it is completely unacceptable that hundreds of horses and ponies are left abandoned every year by irresponsible owners."
New rules aim to improve horse welfare 

Defra has introduced new legislation making it compulsory for horses, ponies and donkeys to be microchipped by October 2020, in a bid to prevent abuse and improve welfare.

A new Central Equine Database will allow local authorities and police to trace the owners of abandoned horses and make it easier to rehome the animals, or reunite those that are lost or stolen with their owners.

Those who fail to comply with the new rules will face sanctions from the local authority, including a compliance notice or fines of up to £200.

Earlier this year, the RSPCA revealed it had rescued around 1,000 horses in 2017, the vast majority of which were not microchipped, making it almost impossible to trace their owners. Inspectors often saw horses that had been abandoned whilst very sick, dying or even dead.

Animal welfare minister Lord Gardiner said: “The government shares the British public’s high regard for animal welfare and it is completely unacceptable that hundreds of horses and ponies are left abandoned every year by irresponsible owners.

“That is why we have today laid new regulations in Parliament requiring horses to be microchipped. This will bolster the ability of local authorities and police to identify abandoned animals, ensuring these beautiful creatures receive the care they deserve and that those who mistreat them will face the consequences.”

Chair of the British Horse Council, Jeanette Allen, said the legislation is a “huge advance” for the UK’s horses, ponies and donkeys.

She added: “It will not only enable irresponsible owners to be held properly accountable for the treatment of their animal, it will also aid in reuniting owners with lost or stolen horses and significantly supports the UK’s efforts to protect our equines from disease outbreaks.”

The regulations were laid in parliament on 25 June and, subject to parliamentary approval, will come into force on 1 October 2018.

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Amur leopard cubs caught on camera

News Story 1
 A pair of Amur leopards have been captured on camera for the first time since their birth. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland announced the birth in July, but with human presence being kept to a minimum, it was not known how many cubs had been born.

Motion sensitive cameras have now revealed that two cubs emerged from the den - at least one of which may be released into the wild in Russia within the next two or three years. The Amur leopard habitat is not open to the public, to help ensure the cubs retain their wild instincts and behaviour. Image © RZSS 

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News Shorts
New canine and feline dentistry manual announced

A new canine and feline dentistry and oral surgery manual has been published by the BSAVA. Announcing the news on its website, the BSAVA said this latest edition contains new step-by-step operative techniques, together with full-colour illustrations and photographs.

‘This is a timely publication; veterinary dentistry is a field that continues to grow in importance for the general veterinary practitioner,’ the BSAVA said. ‘The manual has been fully revised and updated to include the most relevant, evidence-based techniques.’

The BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Dentistry and Oral Surgery, 4th edition is available to purchase from www.bsava.com/shop