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RSPCA reports more than 2200 incidents of cruelty to wildlife in 2020
The RSPCA is urging the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the RSPCA cruelty line or the police.

Charity fears spike in cruelty to wildlife during second lockdown

The RSPCA has expressed concerns over a rise in incidents of cruelty to wildlife as England enters a second lockdown. These fears come as a result of new data, showing that the charity has received more than 2200 reports of wildlife cruelty in 2020 so far, spiking in May.

RSPCA national wildlife co-ordinator Geoff Edmond said: “Our data shows that reports of cruelty to wildlife surged during the first lockdown. We fear a similar peak could happen all over again during this second lockdown, as some people again look for savage ways to pass the time.

“Our inspectors see first-hand the suffering inflicted by criminals on animals through wildlife crime such as badger baiting, dog fighting, hare coursing and trapping birds.”

According to Mr Edmond, police forces reported an increase in anti-social behaviour during the first lockdown. The RSPCA is concerned that the stress and frustration that lockdown brings may lead some people to seek ‘entertainment’ through these horrible acts of cruelty towards animals.

The RSPCA has already responded to thousands of incidents of cruelty to wildlife this year. Just last month, the charity was called out to help a badger in Nantwich, Cheshire that had severe wounds, most likely from an illegal badger-baiting attack. In September, RSPCA veterinary staff successfully operated on a swan which had been shot in the neck with an arrow.

Mr Edmond concluded: “There is no place for cruelty to animals in today’s society and we urge anyone who spots anything suspicious when out on their daily exercise or sees anything online to report it to the RSPCA’s cruelty line or their local police force.”

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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit wsava.org