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New star rating system for animal businesses
The new regulations will also see a ban on licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kittens under the age of eight week.

Animal welfare regulations 2018 come into effect

A new “star rating” system for dog breeders, pet shops and others came into effect on Monday (1 October) under new government regulations set to strengthen animal welfare in England.

The system aims to help buyers find the best breeders and assist local authorities in regulating businesses that deal with animals, such as through more welfare inspections and shorter licences. The legislation rates business out of five on welfare and other grounds and applies to:

    •    those selling animals as pets
    •    businesses that hire out horses
    •    businesses that provide or arrange boarding
    •    those keeping or training animals for exhibition.

The initiative is one of a series of measures that have come into effect under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018. These will ensure breeders must show puppies alongside their mother before a sale is made and will tighten regulations so that puppy sales are completed in the presence of the new owner – preventing online sales where prospective buyers have not seen the animal first.

The new regulations will also see a ban on licensed sellers from dealing in puppies and kitten under the age of eight weeks and the better regulation of adverts, ensuring licensed sellers of all pets include their license number, country of origin and country of residence.

Animal Welfare minister David Rutley said: “These regulations will end mistreatment and malpractice of puppies and crack down on unscrupulous breeders so pet owners will have no doubt their new dogs have had the right start in life.

“The licensing systems for businesses that work with animals have not been reformed for almost fifty years. The changes in place from today simplify these into one system for local authorities, help consumers to make better-informed decisions and will further improve animal welfare."

He continued: “These changes form part of our efforts to ensure we have the highest animal welfare standards in the world. This includes making CCTV cameras mandatory in all slaughterhouses as well as our plans to increase prison sentences from six months to five years for animal abusers.”

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Endangered turtles rescued from smugglers

News Story 1
 A group of endangered turtles have found a new home at London Zoo after being rescued from smugglers.

The four big-headed turtles arrived at the zoo at the end of last year, after smugglers tried to illegally import them to Canada, labelled as toys.

One of the turtles, named Lady Triệu after a Vietnamese warrioress, has moved to a new exhibit in the zoo’s reptile house. She is the only one of her kind in a UK zoo.

Big-headed turtles have such large heads that they cannot pull them back into their shells. To compensate, they have armour plating from head to tail and a very sharp beak to fend off predators. They are ranked number 18 on ZSL’s EDGE of Existence reptile list, which puts threatened species at the forefront of conservation action. Image © ZSL  

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News Shorts
Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.