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Campaigners welcome plans to protect renters with pets
AdvoCATS co-founder Jennifer Berezai.

New White Paper includes proposals to prevent landlords from having blanket bans.

Campaigners have welcomed government proposals designed to make it easier for renters to share their homes with pets.

On Thursday (17 June), housing secretary Michael Gove announced a Fairer Private Rented Sector White Paper, including proposals to prevent landlords from having blanket bans on pets. 

EAST Midlands-based pet charity AdvoCATS, which has long campaigned for a change in the law, hailed the move as “a great day for animal welfare and tenants everywhere”.

“We are thrilled to see that one of the key proposals from our Heads for Tails! campaign, to allow a landlord to stipulate pet damage insurance is held, has been adopted,” commented AdvoCATS co-founder Jennifer Berezai.

“We grabbed our chance ‘with both paws’, we talked, the Government listened and now thousand of tenants will be able to keep pets that they have, and/or adopt anew. This is a great day for animal welfare and tenants everywhere."

A statement released by national charity Dogs Trust echoed this sentiment, stressing that one of the biggest reasons dogs are handed into its rehoming centres is being unable to live in a rented property with a pet. 

James Hickman, head of outreach projects at Dogs Trust, said: “For most dog owners, being separated from their dog is no different from being separated from a family member, so the introduction of the legislation proposed in the White Paper will help ensure that fewer owners are forced to make the heartbreaking decision to give up their beloved pets.”

The White Paper will make it easier for tenants to have pets in their homes by giving all tenants the right to request a pet, which the landlord must consider and cannot unreasonably refuse. It also proposes a change in the law to allow a landlord to ask that pet damage insurance is held.

The National Office for Animal Health (NOAH), which launched its ‘Renting with Pets’ campaign in 2020, said such a change is crucial as it means landlords will be better protected against any potential damage caused to their property by pets. 

Dawn Howard, chief executive of NOAH said: “The measures set out in the Renters’ Reform White Paper are transformational not only for those people that will now find it much more straightforward to enjoy the extensive health and wellbeing benefits of pet ownership - but also for our beloved pets who deserve homes too.”

The law changed has been backed by the National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA), Propertymark, Property Redress Scheme, National Office for Animal Health (NOAH), International Cat Care, Society for Companion Animal Studies (SCAS) and Focus on Animal Law (FOAL).

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on minsmere@rspb.org.uk outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit moredun.org.uk