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New animal and plant safety measures announced
The new rules apply to the UK while it remains a member of the European Union and during any transition period.

Measures designed to modernise and improve food safety standards

The UK government has announced a series of measures ‘aimed at modernising protections against animal diseases and plant pests as well as improving food safety’.


The new EU Smarter rules for safer food regulations will come into force at 11 pm on Friday, 13 December 2019.


A Defra press release reads: ‘The package will modernise, simplify and improve existing health and safety standards for the agri-food chain. It will take a risk-based approach to animal, plant and public health protection, introducing more efficient pest and disease control measures.


The new regulations are split into two areas and will affect businesses in the following industries:
 
- the Official Controls Regulation (OCR) applying to all UK businesses involved in trade in animals and products of animal origin (POAO)
- the Plant Health Regulation (PHR) applying to all UK businesses involved in the production, manufacture, supply and regulation of plants, seeds, timber and plant products.’

Businesses affected by these changes have already been contacted by Defra and are being urged to prepare so they can continue to operate with the import and export of these products. The changes include:

- for animal and animal by-products businesses: Using an improved IT system TRACES (NT) to log imports from beyond the EU and new look import forms.
- for plant, seed and timber businesses: A large increase in the number of plant passports required as well as changes to the content and format of plant passport applications forms for businesses.

The new rules apply to the UK while it remains a member of the European Union and during any transition period. In the event of a Brexit no-deal, the regulations will be retained by the Withdrawal Act and will continue to apply subject to any Parliamentary amendments.

 

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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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News Shorts
WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.