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Government urged to publish XL bully exemption info
From 1 February 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL bully without a Certificate of Exemption.
Charity accuses Government of causing anxiety for owners.

Animal welfare charity Blue Cross has called on the Government to provide information on how owners of American XL bully dogs can apply for a Certificate of Exemption before the ban on the breed comes into force.

Although owners have only 12 weeks to register their dogs, it is still unclear when the online registration portal will open. From 1 February 2024, it will be illegal to own an XL bully without a Certificate of Exemption.

The charity has said that the delay in providing the information is causing stress for owners.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has provided some guidance for owners, asking people who think they own an XL bully to check the official definition. From 31 December 2023, they will have to ensure their dog is muzzled and kept on a lead when in public.

The website recommends that owners who are unsure whether their dog fits the criteria to take a precautionary approach.

Becky Thwaites, head of public affairs at Blue Cross, said: “To announce the ban as coming into force without advice for those owners of well behaved and much-loved pets in how they take action as soon as possible to register their dogs as exempt, is incredibly alarming and unfair.

“The Government has put a huge amount of anxiety and stress on owners of the types of dogs that could be caught up in the ban under the very wide breed type definition provided.”

Image © Shutterstock

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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.