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Ford develops noise-cancelling kennel
The kennel uses similar noise cancelling technology to that found in cars and headphones.

Kennel could protect pets from the sound of fireworks 

Car maker Ford has developed a noise-cancelling kennel that can protect pets from the sound of fireworks.

The kennel uses similar noise-cancelling technology to that found in cars and headphones. Once microphones inside the kennel detect the sound of fireworks, a built-in audio system emits opposing frequencies that cancel out the noise.

Inspiration for the idea arose from technology that exists in Ford’s Edge SUV. When its microphones detect noise from the engine, the noise is counteracted using opposing sound waves from the car’s audio system - making the journey quieter for drivers and passengers.

“We wondered how the technologies we use in our cars could be applied to help in other situations,” explained Ford of Europe’s Lyn West. “Could dogs enjoy quieter New Year’s Eve celebrations through the application of our Active Noise Control system?

"We have a few more ideas in progress as to how our everyday lives might benefit froma little Ford know-how."

The kennel is only a prototype but is the first in a series of initiatives that will apply automotive knowledge to help solve everyday problems.

Image (C) Ford of Europe.

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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.