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New plans for crackdown on backstreet breeding
The proposals were welcomed by the RSPCA as the ‘biggest change in pet vending for 66 years’.
Defra proposals to tackle irresponsible breeding and online adverts 

New proposals to crack down on backstreet breeders were outlined by Defra today (22 December).

Plans include ensuring licensed dog breeders can only sell puppies they have bred themselves and that puppies are shown with their mother before a sale is made.

Adverts, including internet adverts, will be regulated so that licensed sellers of all pets, including puppies, must include the seller’s licence number, country of origin and the pet’s country of residence in any advert.

The government is also proposing to tighten regulations, so that puppy sales are completed in the presence of the new owner, preventing online sales where the buyer has not seen the animal first.

Legislation introducing these proposals could be brought forward early in 2018.

Defra is also considering measures to tackle puppy smuggling across borders and the breeding of dogs with harmful genetic disorders.

Commenting on the reforms, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Any unscrupulous mistreatment of animals is disturbing – so in our drive to achieve the highest animal welfare standards in the world, we continually look at what more can be done.

“The arrival of a happy, healthy puppy, as I know myself, is a memorable time for a family – but it’s absolutely right we do everything we can to eradicate animal cruelty from our society. The proposals my government is developing will be an important step forward.”

The proposals were welcomed by the RSPCA as the ‘biggest change in pet vending for 66 years’. The charity received over 4,000 calls relating to the puppy trade in England this year, compared to just under 2,000 calls in 2013.

RSPCA dog welfare expert, Lisa Hens, said: “The RSPCA has long held grave concerns for the many dogs who continue to suffer ill-health and welfare because they have been bred primarily for how they look. ​

“We believe that all those who breed dogs - whether pedigree, purebred or crossbreed - should prioritise health, welfare and temperament over appearance when choosing which animals to breed, in order to protect the welfare of both the parents and offspring​, and welcome​ proposals to address this.”

 

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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