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Giraffes to be given greater protection against unregulated trade
Fewer than 100,000 giraffes are estimated to remain in the wild today.

CITES convention votes for move after staggering fall in giraffe numbers

Giraffes are to be given greater protection against unregulated trade after a vote by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

The move comes in response to the fact that giraffe numbers have fallen by as much as 40 per cent over the past decade. Fewer than 100,000 giraffes are estimated to remain in the wild today owing to poaching, habitat loss for agriculture and human-wildlife conflict.

Giraffes are hunted for their bushmeat, but their body parts are also used for clothing, furniture, and speciality knives.

According to BBC News, the motion to regulate the trade in body parts came from Kenya, Chad, the Central African Republic, Senegal, Mali and Niger. Here there has been a significant fall in giraffe populations.

But South African countries opposed the move, stating there was not enough evidence to support the notion that international trade was contributing to the giraffe’s decline.

Under the new rules, permits will be mandatory and countries will be required to record the export.

Speaking at a news briefing, Tom De Meulenaer, Cites' scientific services chief said: "The giraffe is, in the wild, much rarer than African elephants, much rarer. We are talking about a few tens of thousands of giraffes, and about a few hundreds of thousands of African elephants. So we need to be careful.”

But Julian Fennessy from IUCN’s giraffe and okapi specialist group said the protection was “not going to save giraffe in the wild”. He argued that increased financial and political support was needed, as well as more resources on the ground.

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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.