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New code of practice for animal sanctuaries in Wales
The new publication aims to encourage sanctuary owners to adopt the highest welfare standards.

Official guidance to help sanctuary owners uphold welfare standards

The welsh government has published a voluntary code of practice for owners of Animal Welfare Establishments (AWE), which contains guidance on a range of issues including animal care, staff management and rehoming policies.

Approximately 90 animal sanctuaries are currently operating in Wales, but there are no specific rules in place to ensure these establishments run safely and effectively. This new code of practice outlines the steps that need to be taken to meet the standard of care which the law requires.

The guidance was published by the Animal Welfare Network for Wales (AWNW) – an independent initiative made up of a coalition of organisations including the RSPCA, which chaired a specialist working group to develop the code.

In a statement, the charity welcomed the new guidance, and praised the incredible work that sanctuaries do. However, the group explained that a lack of oversight, scrutiny and regulation could lead to welfare issues if establishments became ‘overburdened’.

David Bowles, RSPCA head of public affairs, said: "Many animal welfare sanctuaries do incredible work for animals - but there's a real risk that many in this sector become quickly overburdened and stretched by a lack of resources, support and planning.

"Anyone can call themselves a sanctuary in Wales - and clearly that needs to change; as these are institutions many people in Wales trust and assume will be subject to rigorous checks and oversights.

"Positively, the Welsh Government's publication of this voluntary code is a huge leap forward - and acknowledges that sanctuary owners should be following important animal welfare and business guidelines to ensure their operations are sustainable and protect animals in their care.”

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AWF Student Grant Scheme opens for applications

News Story 1
 The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) is inviting applications to its 2021 Student Grant Scheme for innovative projects designed to impact animal welfare. The scheme welcomes proposals from undergraduates studying veterinary and animal welfare degrees, but students from other disciplines are also welcome to apply.

Grants will fund projects on animal welfare topics that are relevant to the veterinary profession and help develop the student's skills as a researcher. This year, the AWF is also accepting projects which are carried out alongside EMS so long as they are supervised. For more information and to apply, visit animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk 

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News Shorts
Bristol Vet School announces new PhD Studentship opportunities

Bristol Veterinary School has announced four new PhD Studentship opportunities with a focus on cattle welfare. The projects include:

Developing a novel approach to improve the welfare of dairy cows; The impact of early life programming on resistance to helminths in ruminant livestock; The impact of change and the ability to deal with it on an individual's affective state and welfare; Harnessing 3D cameras and deep learning for on-the-fly automated body condition and mobility analysis to improve cattle welfare.

For more details and how to apply, visit the University of Bristol's website.