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Finn’s Law receives Royal Assent
PC Dave Wardell and his now-retired police dog Finn (pictured) were both stabbed whilst chasing a suspect in October 2016.

Bill will be known as the ‘Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019

The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill has been given Royal Assent, meaning that it will now be an offence to harm a service animal in the line of duty.

The Bill, more commonly known as Finn’s Law, received Royal Assent in the House of Lords last night (8 April). It will now be known as the ‘Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Act 2019.

It comes after a campaign led by PC Dave Wardell and his now-retired police dog Finn, who were both stabbed whilst chasing a robbery suspect in October 2016. The defendant was charged with actual bodily harm for injuring the handler, but only criminal damage for harming Finn.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of Dave Wardell and campaigners, the government introduced new sentencing guidelines for attacks on police animals. Then, in 2018, the government announced its support for Finn's Law and published a new Bill that would give service animals greater protection.

Upon hearing the Bill had received Royal Assent, PC Dave Wardell Tweeted: “What absolutely amazing news to wake up to #Finnslaw has got Royal Assent. What an amazing legacy.  

“I want to thank @finnforchange and @OliverHealdUK And of course #FabulousFinn for his selfless actions that night!”

Image (C) Dave Wardell.

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Veterinary Evidence Student Awards winners revealed

News Story 1
 The first winners of the RCVS Knowledge Veterinary Evidence Student Awards have been revealed.

Molly Vasanthakumar scooped first prize for her knowledge summary comparing the ecological impact of woven versus disposable drapes. She found that there is not enough evidence that disposable synthetics reduce the risk of surgical site.

Second prize went to Honoria Brown of the University of Cambridge, for her paper: ‘Can hoof wall temperature and digital pulse pressure be used as sensitive non-invasive diagnostic indicators of acute laminitis onset?’

Edinburgh’s Jacqueline Oi Ping Tong won third prize for critically appraising the evidence for whether a daily probiotic improved clinical outcomes in dogs with idiopathic diarrhoea. The papers have all achieved publication in RCVS Knowledge’s peer-reviewed journal, Veterinary Evidence.  

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News Shorts
Animal Welfare Foundation seeks new trustees

The Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF) seeks three new trustees to help drive the charity’s mission to improve animal welfare through veterinary science, education and debate.

Veterinary and animal welfare professionals from across the UK may apply, particularly those with experience in equine and small animal practice and research management. Trustees must attend at least two meetings a year, as well as the annual AWF Discussion Forum in London.

For more information about the role, visit www.animalwelfarefoundation.org.uk. Applications close at midnight on 13 August 2019.