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EU rules non-stun meat cannot be labelled as organic
The court ruled that non-stun slaughter carried out for religious reasons did not meet the high animal welfare standards required by organic regulations.

ECJ rules that pre-stunning significantly reduces animal suffering 

Kosher and halal meat cannot be labelled as organic if the animal was slaughtered without pre-stunning, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.

The ruling follows a case which had been taken to the French minister for agriculture by a group called Oeuvre d’Assistance aux Bêtes d’Abattoirs (OABA).

The group argued that the organic farming label should not be applied to products - specifically beef patties - that contained meat from non-stunned animals.

The case was initially rejected by the French courts, but was passed to the ECJ for consideration.  

According to Farmers Weekly, the court ruled that non-stun slaughter carried out for religious reasons did not meet the high animal welfare standards required by organic regulations.

The court is also reported to have said that pre-stunning significantly reduced animal suffering.

Under EU law, all animals - with the exception of those for Jewish and Muslim consumption - must be stunned before slaughter. 

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.