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BVA responds to Belgium’s decision on non-stun slaughter
"Our focus on this has nothing to do with the expression of religious beliefs but is about finding ways to reduce the welfare harm of non-stun slaughter"
John Fishwick says move shows strength of feeling on the issue

BVA president John Fishwick says Belgium’s decision on non-stun slaughter shows a domestic ban within EU law would be possible.

A ban on non-stun slaughter was implemented on New Year’s Day in the Flanders region of the country. The move followed legislation passed by Belgium’s parliament in July 2017.  

Similar restrictions are expected to be implemented in the Wallonia region from September.

Mr Fishwick said: “Belgium follows several other countries including Iceland, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark in its decision to ban the slaughter of animals without prior stunning.

“This shows that there is considerable strength of feeling on the issue and that a ban would be possible within domestic law of EU member states.”
 
He continued: “BVA would like to see all animals stunned before slaughter and this call has received widespread support from the veterinary profession and general public, including a petition with over 120,000 signatures. Our focus on this has nothing to do with the expression of religious beliefs but is about finding ways to reduce the welfare harm of non-stun slaughter.
 
“If slaughter without stunning continues to be permitted in the UK, then meat and fish from this source must be clearly labelled, to help customers make informed choices about the food that they buy and eat.”

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Huge spike in ‘designer’ dogs going into rescue

News Story 1
 The RSPCA has reported a huge spike in the number of ‘designer’ dogs arriving into its care.

Figures published by the charity show there has been a 517 per cent increase in the number of French bulldogs arriving into its kennels. During that time, the charity has also seen an increase in dachshunds, chihuahuas, and crossbreeds.

RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “We know that the breeds of dog coming into our care often reflect the trends in dog ownership in the wider world and, at the moment, it doesn’t get more trendy than ‘designer’ dogs like French bulldogs and Dachshunds."

 

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News Shorts
New shearing guidance for farmers and contractors

Industry bodies have produced guidance for farmers and contractors on how to handle sheep during shearing to avoid stress and injury.

The guidance includes every step - from the presentation of sheep and facilities for shearing, through to using a contractor and shearers - and aims to ensure shearing is carried out safely, efficiently and with high standards of animal welfare.

Guide co-author Jill Hewitt from the NAAC said: “Shearing is a professional job that takes significant skill. Shearers take their responsibility to protect animal welfare very seriously and it will be a positive step to remind everyone of the importance of working together.’