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Multi-million pound deal to boost greyhound welfare
The agreement is expected to boost income to the British Greyhound Racing fund to around £10 million a year.
Bookmakers agree additional payments worth up to £3 million

Greyhound welfare is set to be improved thanks to a multi-million pound deal with a number of online bookmakers.  

On Thursday (10 January), sports minister Mims Davies announced that £3 million pounds of voluntary funding will contribute towards new tailored training for vets and an injury recovery scheme.

He also said the funding will go towards improving racetrack safety, the supply of more retirement homes, kennel improvements and the provision of air condition for trainers’ vehicles.

Welcoming the announcement, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’ deputy chief executive Peter Laurie said: “Battersea has long been calling for the betting industry, which profits very considerably from greyhound racing, to pay its fair share towards protecting the welfare of the dogs themselves, including to ensure they are responsibly re-homed on their retirement from racing.
 
“We welcome this new announcement by the minister for sport and this commitment from some of Britain’s biggest betting organisations. But we note that this is only a voluntary arrangement and future contributions are not guaranteed.

“Battersea, therefore, renews its call for the existing voluntary levy to be made compulsory and for greyhound welfare to be properly funded on a sustainable basis.”

The agreement took effect from 1 January 2019 and is expected to boost income to the British Greyhound Racing fund (BGRF) to around £10 million a year. Among the bookmakers that have made a commitment to the extra payments include Betfred, William Hill and Sky Betting.

Joe Scanlon, chairman of the British Greyhound Racing Fund, said: “With this deal, the BGRF will be close to full support from all the major retail and online operators and it will provide a firm basis for delivering the enhanced welfare and integrity provision the sport of greyhound racing expects.

“This agreement would not have been possible without the support of the Minister and her team at DCMS, Lord Lipsey who has worked tirelessly to improve the welfare of greyhounds over many years and of course the major bookmakers for their continued support of the Fund.”

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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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BVA Welsh Branch elects new president

Veterinary surgeon Ifan Lloyd was elected president of the BVA Welsh Branch at its AGM on 25 June.

Ifan has worked mainly in mixed practice since graduating from Cambridge University in 1988. He was a partner at St James Veterinary Group for 23 years and has continued to work part time at the practice since retiring in 2017.

He is passionate about animal health and disease eradication. He is a director of Cefn Gwlad Solutions, a company set up to lead bovine TB programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders. He is also director of lechyd Da (gwledig), the bTB testing delivery partner in South Wales.

Ifan said, “As a founding member of BVA Welsh Branch I am honoured and delighted to be elected as President. I have been passionate about representing the veterinary profession in Wales for many years and I plan to use this experience to represent my colleagues to the best of my abilities.”