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Chief Vet urges public to be wary of deceitful pet sellers this Christmas
"It is always much better to wait for the right dog than to rush into buying." - Chris Sherwood, RSPCA chief executive.

Government publishes awareness video as part of Petfished campaign

In the lead up to Christmas, the UK government is reminding those looking to buy a puppy or kitten to do their research and look out for the signs of untrustworthy sellers.

Under Lucy’s Law, commercial third-party puppy and kitten sales have been banned in England. Meaning that anyone looking to acquire a new puppy or kitten must buy direct from a breeder, or consider adopting instead.

However, with new lockdown restrictions in effect until 2 December, potential pet buyers are being urged to ensure they carry out the proper checks to know they are buying from a trustworthy source and not being deceived by puppy and kitten dealers who breed and keep animals in poor conditions.

Christmas is a peak time for puppy and kitten buying. According to online retailer Preloved, the majority ‘high volume’ days for new pet listings on its site occurred between late November and mid-December last year.

Defra has released a video titled ‘The 12 Days of Petfished’ as part of its Petfished campaign, to educate the public on the risks posed by untrustworthy sellers at this time of year.

Chief veterinary officer Christine Middlemiss said: “After a difficult year and with many of us spending more time at home, many people may be considering getting a new puppy or kitten.

“However, the lead up to Christmas is a prominent time for unscrupulous sellers to take advantage of those looking to buy a new pet. That is why we are advising people to remain vigilant and to always thoroughly research sellers before getting in touch.”

“Potential buyers should also note that Christmas might not be the best time to get a pet as it can be noisy and chaotic, which isn’t the best environment to settle in a new animal.”

The RSPCA is also supporting the Petfished campaign, urging potential buyers to always research the seller before buying and walk away if they have any concerns. “It is always much better to wait for the right dog than to rush into buying - and unwittingly support cruelty,” said chief executive Chris Sherwood.

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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 

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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.