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Blue Cross offers help for vulnerable horses during pandemic winter
Any horse can be considered for Home Direct, provided they pass a health check and are not on any long-term medication.

Home Direct scheme rehomes horses quickly while keeping centres clear 

Blue Cross is working to help horses and ponies that need to be rehomed this winter as a result of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for owners.

In the lead up to what is predicted to be a very difficult winter, most equine charities are already full and unable to help the public with their horses. Blue Cross is offering its Home Direct service as a welfare solution to help horses find new homes quickly and to take the pressure off struggling charities.

Vicki Alford, horse rehoming centre manager at Blue Cross, Burford said: “Home Direct is a practical and efficient rehoming scheme to help us support even more horses during this unprecedently difficult time.

“We understand the struggles that many horse owners may be going through as the pandemic continues. We encourage them approach us whilst their horses are still healthy rather than risk them being passed form pillar to post, potentially ending up in a welfare compromised situation.

“We are here to listen and help, not to judge, and with Home Direct we a can help people as much as we are helping horses.”

Every horse that goes through the Home Direct service is thoroughly assessed by a member of the Blue Cross horse unit team and then advertised on the charity’s website.

Blue Cross arranges and oversees initial visits with potential owners and then, if it’s a good match, the horse is rehomed directly from its old home to the new one. 87 horses have been helped through the scheme since its launch in 2015.

Horse owners looking for advice, support or guidance about giving up a horse should email helpmyhorse@bluecross.org.uk

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Budding 'Dr Dolittles' sought for writing competition

News Story 1
 Vets are being invited to enter a writing competition run by the Page Turner Awards for a chance to get their story published or even made into a film.

Dubbed the 'Rolls Royce' of writing awards, the Page Turner competition provides an opportunity for aspiring writers to submit unpublished fiction and non-fiction work to be read by a panel of influential players in the publishing industry.

A spokesperson said: 'Do you think of yourself as a magical healer, like Dr Dolittle. Or maybe you have a story to share about the times when, sadly, animals can't be treated, and pet owners reflect on those moments they took for granted."

For more information, visit pageturnerawards.com 

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News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.