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Views sought on strengthened protections for seabirds
The proposal to extend the SPA on the Isles of Scilly will protect populations of great black-backed gulls.

Government announces plans to extend Isles of Scilly Special Protection Area

Residents on the Isles of Scilly are being urged have their say on plans to strengthen protections for seabirds.

On Tuesday (26 February) Natural England announced plans to extend the existing Isles of Scilly Special Protection Area (SPA) by around 13,000 hectares.

The move would recognise the importance of additional species for the first time, including the Manx shearwater, European shag and great black-backed gulls. It would also recognise areas the birds use for feeding, resting, pressing and social interactions - not just those used for nesting.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said: “Our coastline is home to some of the most magnificent wildlife in the world and we are proud to be a world leader in protecting our marine environment.

“It is suggested that these new protections will provide thousands of birds on the Isles of Scilly with a safe haven for foraging and feeding, safeguarding precious marine habitats for future generations. I welcome the consultation and encourage local residents to give their views."

Interim chief executive of Natural England Marian Spain said: “Extending the Isles of Scilly Special Protection Area would bring huge benefits for some of our most important seabird colonies.

“We look forward to hearing what people think and, hopefully working with everybody who lives, works in and visits the Scillies to make these plans become a reality and make this coastline a key addition to the UK’s marine protection network."

The Isles of Scilly are home to more than 8,000 pairs and 13 different species of seabird. By extending the boundary, Natural England says that it will be helping to maintain healthy and productive breeding colonies ‘for generations to come’.

Special Protections Areas are chosen to protect populations of rare and vulnerable seabirds from human activity, whilst minimising disruption to the birds’ open feeding areas.  There are currently 47 sites designated in waters around England.

The consultation is now open and will run until 21 May 2019. The public can view the consultation details on and can respond online, by email or by post.

Image (C) Anne Burgess.

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Registrations open for overseas veterinary professionals course

News Story 1
 Registrations are now open for the RCVS CPD course for overseas veterinary professionals, which covers an introduction to the UK veterinary professions.

The course is aimed at overseas-qualified veterinary surgeons and nurses during their first two years of working in the UK, in addition to those considering working here. It provides graduates with the key information and skills required to practice in the UK, as well as helping them understand their legal duties as veterinary professionals.

For more information and to book your place please click here. The course will be held at Belgravia House, London, on Wednesday 12 June.  

Click here for more...
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BVA launches award to celebrate young vets

A new award has been launched to celebrate inspirational young vets who are making a difference in their day to day work.

Nominations are now open for the BVA Young Vet of the Year Award, which is the first of its kind. It is open to all vets registered with the RCVS in the first eight years of their careers, working in any veterinary sphere, including clinical practice, research, education or veterinary politics. Organisers are looking for an ‘exceptional young vet’ whose work has benefitted the veterinary community or the workplace.

The awards are open for self-entry and nominations by 1 August 2019. The winner will be announced at London Vet Show on 14 November 2019, where a £1000 cash prize will be awarded, alongside a ‘career enhancing experience’ with Zoetis.