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Finn’s Law receives Royal Assent
PC Dave Wardell and his now-retired police dog Finn (pictured) were both stabbed whilst chasing a suspect in October 2016.

Bill will be known as the ‘Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019

The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill has been given Royal Assent, meaning that it will now be an offence to harm a service animal in the line of duty.

The Bill, more commonly known as Finn’s Law, received Royal Assent in the House of Lords last night (8 April). It will now be known as the ‘Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019.

It comes after a campaign led by PC Dave Wardell and his now-retired police dog Finn, who were both stabbed whilst chasing a robbery suspect in October 2016. The defendant was charged with actual bodily harm for injuring the handler, but only criminal damage for harming Finn.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave Wardell and campaigners, the government introduced new sentencing guidelines for attacks on police animals. Then, in 2018, the government announced its support for Finn's Law and published a new Bill that would give service animals greater protection.

Upon hearing the Bill had received Royal Assent, PC Dave Wardell Tweeted: “What absolutely amazing news to wake up to #Finnslaw has got Royal Assent. What an amazing legacy.  

“I want to thank @finnforchange and @OliverHealdUK And of course #FabulousFinn for his selfless actions that night!”

Image (C) Dave Wardell.

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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.