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Battersea announces winner of 2020 Purr Minister competition
Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP with Patrick in the House of Commons.

Commons speaker’s cat crowned Westminter’s top feline

A ginger Maine coon named Patrick, belonging to speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, has been elected as Battersea’s new Purr Minister, after weeks of campaigning from pet-owning politicians.

Patrick beat out nine other cats in the public vote, earning popularity with his pledges of ‘impurrtiality’ and ‘a better work/mouse balance’. He succeeds former Cynon Valley MP Ann Clwyd’s cat Alfie, who was elected in 2018.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, speaker of the House of Commons and Patrick’s owner, said: “While it is undoubtedly a bit of fun to receive this title for Patrick – and goodness knows we need it in these difficult times – I am so pleased it has been awarded by Battersea, whose work in helping animals in need is well known and deserves our full support.

“Patrick was up against a tough field of well-loved cats, but I think his personality and beauty won over members of the public, who I must thank for all their support in electing him.”

The Purr Minister Competition was created to celebrate the companionship and joy that cats provide and to raise awareness of animal welfare issues. This year’s election was one of the most popular ever, with Battersea reporting a 200 per cent increase in votes compared to the last competition in 2018.

Lindsey Quinlan, head of catteries and feline welfare for Battersea, said that the charity had been blow away by the amount of public support that this year’s candidates received.

She added: “In what has been a very complicated year for everyone, we hope our fun competition has provided some light relief, while also highlighting important animal welfare issues and the vital work Battersea is doing to help animals in need.”

Images (c) Jessica Taylor.

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MSD Animal Health announces three new research bursaries

News Story 1
 MSD Animal Health has announced three new research bursaries for veterinary surgeons in the areas of swine, poultry and aquaculture. The bursaries, worth up to £4,000, add to MSD's existing bursaries in ruminant and companion animal research.

Projects are expected to be completed within one to two years, and the proposals will be judged by university academics to ensure that assessment remains independent. Full project design and application guidelines, including the specific disease/subject areas, can be found on MSD Animal Health's website

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News Shorts
VMD and VPS announce joint open information day

The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) and the Veterinary Products Committee (VPC) have announced a joint open information day covering topics such as veterinary medicines regulations, antimicrobial resistance, scientific advice and novel therapies.

Taking place on Wednesday 18 November, the virtual event will take the form of a series of pre-recorded webinars and a 'Slido' Q&A session. Links to the webinars and full instructions on how to use Slido will be available on gov.uk on 18 November. To join the mailing list for the event, email director.support@vmd.gov.uk