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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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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.