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Prison adopts 200 hens destined for slaughter
Wayne Walters, a livestock and project management instructional officer, launched Project Jail Bird to help the men cope with life in prison.

British Hen Welfare Trust delivers hens for Project Jail Bird

A prison in Dorset has adopted 200 hens that would otherwise have been sent to slaughter, as part of a new initiative to help prisoners.

HMP Guys Marsh is a Category C prison that holds up to 450 men, some of whom have committed serious crimes.

Wayne Walters, a livestock and project management instructional officer, launched Project Jail Bird to help the men cope with life in prison, as well as aiding their rehabilitation and release.

With the help of Prisoner J (who cannot be named for legal reasons), Wayne transformed an unused area of the prison into a haven for the hens. It is complete with handmade flower boxes crafted by the prisoners, which sit on the outside of a newly erected coop.

The hens had previously been living on a commercial farm laying eggs to be sold in supermarkets, or to be put into processed foods. At 18 months, they had reached the end of their commercial life and would have faced slaughter had they not been rescued by the British Hen Welfare Trust.

Jane Howorth, MBE and founder of the trust, personally delivered the birds to Guys Marsh with the charity’s head of operations, Gaynor Davies.

She said: “What really struck me was the effort that both Wayne and Prisoner J had put into Project Jail Bird. They have created a fantastic facility for hens out of wasted space, and in so doing given the prisoners at Guys Marsh the opportunity to learn new skills, and of course given the hens a wonderful second chance in life.  

“The charity has supplied hens to almost a dozen prisons across the UK and I wholeheartedly support Wayne’s initiative seeing only benefit in rolling out the model across all UK prisons.”

Image (c) British Hen Welfare Trust

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.