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MEPs call for stricter measures to stop illegal pet trade
The resolution called for a common EU definition of puppy and kitten farms.

EU-wide action plan encourages universal crackdown

The environment, public health and food safety committee have adopted a resolution which demands action to tackle the illegal trafficking of pets.

Recognising the negative impact that the illegal pet trade has on animal welfare, public health and consumer protection, the European Parliament also wants to clamp down on the affect that the trade has on the function of the EU internal market.

The decision is informed by strong public support for the improvement of animal welfare. According to a public opinion pole by the European Commission, 74 per cent of EU citizens believe that companion animals should be better protected.

Adopted on Tuesday 21 January, the resolution calls for a series of actions to address the illegal pet trade, including:

  • an EU-wide Action Plan, which outlines the necessary responsibilities to address the illegal trade in companion animals
  • a Commission proposal to set up an EU-wide mandatory identification and registration system for cats and dogs
  • a common definition of puppy and kitten farms in the EU
  • better communication, cooperation and training for customs and veterinary authorities
  • improved enforcement of animal welfare laws and tougher sanctions against suppliers of false pet passports.

The committee also expressed the need for EU breeding rules for pets, along with registers of authorised breeders and sellers, and the importance of encouraging the public to adopt rather than buy.

MEPs are expected to vote on the resolution at the plenary in February.

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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.