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Government updates guidance on dog walking in lockdown
Dog walkers are now permitted to leave the house more than once a day to meet their pet's exercise needs.

RSPCA welcomes changes which will help owners meet pet's exercise needs

The government has updated it's guidance for pet owners in England, making it easier for dog walkers to exercise their pets despite lockdown restrictions.

The COVID-19 guidance originally stated that people may only leave the house once a day for exercise, however the new guidance – updated 13 January – states that dog owners can go outside more than once per day in order to walk their pet.

However, the government urges dog walkers to limit this where possible, to not leave travel outside of their local areas and to maintain social distancing when out in public.

The RSPCA welcomed the decision to relax restrictions in order to ensure pet owners can meet the exercise needs of their pets, calling it a 'common sense approach.'

RSPCA's head of companion animals Dr Samantha Gaines said: "[This new guidance] stops the rules penalising dogs living with one person - and also ensures more consistency with lockdown rules in Wales, where there is no cap on how many times someone may walk their dog. Exercise in Wales must start and stop from the home.

"We all must do our bit to stop coronavirus - so it’s important people understand the restrictions and keep local. Keeping dogs on leads at this time can help ensure social distancing, and will avoid owners unnecessarily coming into contact with one another should a pet need to be retrieved."

The charity continues to urge local authorities to ease Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), which limit the places in which dogs can be walked, making it more difficult for owners to exercise their dogs and leading to unnecessary travel.

The read the new advice for dog walkers in England, please click here.

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Applications open for pets in housing research funding scheme

News Story 1
 The Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) has announced that applications are now open for the second round of its three-year funding scheme to support research into the human-animal bond.

This year SCAS is looking for research that focuses on the issues surrounding pets in housing, particularly projects looking at:

- the impact of current, or historic, pet related housing legislation
- an assessment of incident, type and cost of damage caused by pets in housing
- the views of landlords, care institution or housing association staff, in relation to pets and housing
- stakeholder perceptions of pets and housing insurance schemes.

There are eight funding grants available, awarding between £1,500 and £10,000. Applications close on 30 April 2021.

More information can be found on the SCAS website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
2021 NOAH Compendium now available

The 2021 edition of the NOAH Compendium of Data Sheets for Animal Medicines has been published.

Published annually by NOAH, this book is sent to every veterinary practice in the UK for free. The 2021 edition includes an even larger range of products than previous years.

Chief executive Dawn Howard stated that NOAH will shortly be launching a survey for practices on the Compendiums effectiveness.

She added: "Our survey will give users of the Compendium the opportunity to say how they think we can improve it to assist them in prescribing veterinary medicines and advising animal keepers on their use. We look forward to getting your views."