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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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Dogs Trust announces winners of vet student awards

News Story 1
 Cambridge vet student James Jewkes has been awarded first place in the annual Dogs Trust EMS Awards, for his paper on the threat of exotic infectious diseases in rehoming centres. James will now go on a two-week placement at the WVS International Training Centre in South India.

Each year the awards allow vet students to gain hands-on experience during work placements at 13 of the charity’s rehoming centres, then submit reports on a relevant subject.  

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News Shorts
Former RCVS president to chair new Horse Welfare Board

Former RCVS president Barry Johnson has been appointed as the independent chair of a new Horse Welfare Board. Barry, who is also past chairman of World Horse Welfare, was selected by an industry panel including the British Horseracing Authority, the Racecourse Association and The Horsemen’s Group.

The welfare board aims to develop a new welfare strategy covering the whole racing industry. Mr Johnson said: “I’m very pleased to have been asked by racing to take on this role and by the sport’s commitment to continuous improvement in the welfare of racehorses."