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Horse owners asked to take part in Blue Cross fireworks survey
Blue Cross is concerned about a rise in private firework displays as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.

Charity seeks to better understanding of equine community's concerns

Charity Blue Cross is appealing for horse owners across the UK to respond to a survey about the impact of fireworks.

There were many reports of horses becoming scared or injured as a result of fireworks displays this year. As COVID-19 restrictions led to an increase in people hosting private displays in their gardens.

Blue Cross is concerned about this rise in personal firework displays – particularly in the lead up to new years eve – as well as the negative impact this can have on pets and horses.

The national pet charity, which has equine centres in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, is calling on horse and pony owners to take part in a national survey. The results of which will be used to gain a greater understanding of any concerns from the equine community.

Blue Cross is looking to receive as many responses as possible from horse owners by 10 December.

The survey is available to fill out online.

Blue Cross education manager Kerry Taylor said: “In these changing times it is important to understand the existing concerns horse owners have around fireworks season and the impact these celebrations can have on their animals.

“Horses have a natural and innate flight response and we know some fare badly when local fireworks are set off and we are hoping to understand the national picture in greater detail.”

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New series shares recipes for pet-safe festive treats

News Story 1
 Battersea has launched a new Christmas baking series across all it's social media channels, to teach owners how to make pet-safe treats for dogs and cats.

The two-part series will show dog owners how to make Christmas dog treats using xylitol-free peanut butter and banana. Meanwhile, cat owners will be taught how to use rolled oats and turkey to make a festive snack for their pet.

Battersea also reminds pet owners of the importance of insuring that animals maintain a healthy balanced diet and adds that these food items should only be given as a treat.

To view the series, please visit Battersea's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Image (c) Battersea. 

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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at