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GPAW 2023 theme announced as ‘Rescue & Rehome’
The theme follows data showing a surge in guinea pig abandonment.

The week will focus on guinea pigs in rescue centres.

Guinea Pig Awareness Week (GPAW) 2023 has been confirmed for 25 – 29 September, with the theme announced as ‘Rescue & Rehome’.

The week-long event will be highlighting the number of guinea pigs that are in rescue centres in need of rehoming, as well as sharing information on guinea pig care.

The theme follows data showing a surge in guinea pig abandonment, with RSPCA reporting that they had already received 235 guinea pigs by mid-August this year, compared to 253 guinea pigs taken during the whole of 2022.

The campaign is led by Burgess Pet Care and endorsed by the British Veterinary Association and British Small Animal Veterinary Association.

They are encouraging veterinary surgeons and nurses to get involved by accessing free online resources that will help them organise and promote their own digital GPAW events.

They will be sharing content across GPAW digital channels, including blogs and videos about welfare needs, enrichment ideas and a dedicated rescue page.

Burgess Pet Care are hoping that this week of events will raise awareness for guinea pigs, and promote better care of the animal.

Dr Suzanne Moyes, deputy managing director and in-house veterinary surgeon at Burgess Pet Care, said: “We are so thrilled that GPAW is returning for a third year. We’ve filled our digital GPAW vet packs will lots of ideas and advice on how practices can host their own digital events and engage with guinea pig owners in their region.

“GPAW is a great opportunity for vets to raise the profile of their practices, showcase their guinea pig expertise and actively engage with their clients, communities and fellow practitioners online.”

“As vets’ practices are often the first port of call for owners seeking help and advice, it would be fantastic to see as many as possible getting involved and downloading GPAW packs.

“The more we can all help owners understand and learn about guinea pigs, the happier and healthier the nation’s guinea pigs will be!”

Any veterinary professionals who wish to get involved can sign up for notifications of when the GPAW digital packs are available here.

Image (C) Burgess Pet Care

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Charities' XL bully neutering scheme closes

News Story 1
 A scheme that helped owners of XL bully dogs with the cost of neutering has closed to new applications due to high demand.

The scheme, run by the RSPCA, Blue Cross, and Battersea, has helped 1,800 dogs and their owners after XL bullies were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

In England and Wales, owners of XL bully dogs which were over one year old on 31 January 2021 have until 30 June 2024 to get their dog neutered. If a dog was between seven months and 12 months old, it must be neutered by 31 December 2024. If it was under seven months old, owners have until 30 June 2025.

More information can be found on the Defra website. 

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Avian flu cattle outbreak spreads to tenth US state

Cattle in two dairy herds in Iowa have tested positive for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), making it the tenth state in the USA to be affected by the ongoing outbreak of the disease in cattle.

Since March 2024, more than 80 herds across the USA have been affected by the virus and three dairy workers have tested positive. Authorities have introduced measures to limit the spread of the virus and farmers have been urged to strengthen their biosecurity protocols.

Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said: "Given the spread of highly pathogenic avian influenza within dairy cattle in many other states, it is not a surprise that we would have a case given the size of our dairy industry in Iowa.

"While lactating dairy cattle appear to recover with supportive care, we know this destructive virus continues to be deadly for poultry."