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‘Relief’ as circus bill passes final reading
The bill will bring England into line with other parts of the UK, including Scotland and Ireland.
Wild animals to be banned in circuses from 2020 

A bill to ban wild animals in circuses in England has passed its final reading in the House of Lords. It is likely to come into force in January 2020, after receiving royal assent.

Environment secretary Michael Gove confirmed the ban in May this year, seven years after the government first announced its intention to ban wild animals in travelling circuses.

Dr Ros Clubb, senior scientific manager at the RSPCA, said the charity is “absolutely delighted and hugely relieved” by the news.

She added: “The RSPCA has campaigned for decades for this practice to be outlawed, highlighting how the welfare of wild animals based in such settings is likely to be heavily compromised. The transient nature of circuses - alongside cramped accommodation and forced training for animals - highlights how inappropriate they are for wild animals.

“Wild animals like zebras, camels, raccoons and reindeer have complex needs that can never be adequately met in a circus.  We believe their welfare is compromised with stressful, frequent journeys, cramped and bare temporary housing, forced training and performance. 

“We are glad the practice of using wild animals in circuses is to be consigned to the history books in England at long last.”

The bill will bring England into line with other parts of the UK, including Scotland and Ireland, which have already implemented bans. A bill was also recently introduced to the National Assembly for Wales.

 

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Regional Representatives nominations sought

News Story 1
 Seven new regional representatives are being sought by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) to speak for vets from those regions and to represent their views to BVA Council.

The opportunities are available in in the North-East, Yorkshire & Humber, East Midlands, West Midlands, London, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Representatives from all sectors of the veterinary profession are urged to apply.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos, said: "Our regional representatives are integral to that mission and to the activities of Council - contributing to effective horizon scanning on matters of veterinary policy and providing an informed steer to BVA’s Policy Committee.” 

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News Shorts
Livestock Antibody Hub receives funding boost

The Pirbright Institute has received US $5.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to form a Livestock Antibody Hub aimed at supporting animal and human health. The work will bring together researchers from across the UK utilise research outcomes in livestock disease and immunology.

Dr Doug Brown, chief executive of the British Society for Immunology, commented: “The UK is a world leader in veterinary immunology research, and this transformative investment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will drive the next chapter of innovation in developing new treatments and prevention options against livestock diseases".