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Vets complete Gaza zoo rescue mission
FOUR PAWS moved 47 animals out of Rafah Zoo in Gaza and transferred them to wildlife sanctuaries in Jordan and South Africa.

Animals rehomed in Jordan and South Africa

International veterinary charity FOUR PAWS has successfully completed its biggest rescue mission to date.

On Sunday (7 April) the rescue team moved 47 animals out of Rafah Zoo in Gaza and transferred them to wildlife sanctuaries in Jordan and South Africa. The mission was due to take place at the end of March but had to be postponed owing to ongoing unrest in the region.

FOUR PAWS vet and head of mission Amir Khalil said: “The intensive work of the last weeks has brought our team to its limits. To examine and load almost 50 animals in just a few days was a huge challenge.

“Thanks to the cooperation of all authorities, it was possible for us to bring the animals safely out of Gaza. From Israel to Palestine and Jordan, it was impressive to see how these three nations worked together for the animals from Rafah.”

The rescue team arrived in Gaza on 4 April and spent four days finalising the negotiations and logistics of transferring the animals. Once the animals had been loaded into their transport crates, they embarked on their 300-kilometre journey to Jordan.

On arrival at the Erez border, the crates had to be unloaded and loaded onto a new truck in the Israel-Gaza barrier. Four Paws continued their journey, flanked by the Israeli army, and arrived at the wildlife sanctuaries in Jordan later that evening.

The animals, including five lions, a hyena, several monkeys, wolves, porcupines, foxes, cats, dogs, emus, ostriches and squirrels, have been released into their new species-appropriate enclosures. Two older lions have been flown to their final home in South Africa, where they will live at the FOUR PAWS big cat rescue refuge LIONSROCK.

Having been active in Gaza since 2014, FOUR PAWS has already evacuated and closed two zoos – Al-Bisan Zoo and Khan Younis Zoo – in the region. After the rescue of the Rafah zoo animals, there are only two more zoos left in the Gaza Strip.

Image (C) FOUR PAWS/Bogdan Baraghin.

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Wales to ban third party puppy and kitten sales

News Story 1
 The Welsh Government has said it will ban third party sales of puppies and kittens, after a consultation showed overwhelming public support.

A consultation in February received nearly 500 responses, most of whom called for greater action to improve the welfare of cats and dogs at all breeding premises.

Concerns were also raised about online sales, impulse buying, breeder accountability and illegal puppy imports.

A consultation will now be held on plans to implement a ban. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths said she will also revisit the current breeding regulations to improve welfare conditions.  

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WHO declares Congo Ebola outbreak an international health emergency

The World Health Organisation has declared the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The move comes after a meeting of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee for Ebola in the DRC. The committee cited recent developments in the outbreak in making its recommendation, including the first confirmed case in Goma - a city of almost two million people on the border with Rwanda, and the gateway to the rest of DRC and the world.

The committee also reinforced the need to protect the livelihoods of the people most affected by the outbreak by keeping transport routes and borders open.