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Kennel Club Assured Breeders ‘should be considered low risk’
The only exception would be if there was significant evidence of poor animal welfare standards or non-compliance found during a local authority inspection.

Defra issues note to local authority licensing officers

Any member of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme that has three years of compliance history with the body ‘should be considered low-risk and receive the appropriate star rating’.

In a note to local authority licensing regulators,
Defra states that the only exception would be if there was significant evidence of poor animal welfare standards or non-compliance found during inspection.

The updated guidance comes after concerns were raised about inconsistencies in local authority licensing. The Kennel Club has been lobbying the Government for several years on the issue, which came on the back of a survey it conducted with Our Dogs newspaper.

The updated document now states: ‘In relation to dog breeding, the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme operates to the higher standards, and is currently the only UKAS accredited scheme operating in this area of animal activities’.

The Kennel Club said that the use of the words ‘higher standards’ is significant as it gives clarity to the fact that members of the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme are considered to be low risk.

Defra also provides further clarification regarding the £1,000 trading income licensing exemption, which had caused confusion among all parties. Many believed this was a threshold for which anyone exceeding it would need a licence to breed dogs.

The note clarifies that the “£1,000 trading income as referred to in the guidance documents should be used as an indicator and not a ceiling as someone with over £1,000 trading income may not be a commercial dog breeder or pet seller and they may not be making a profit”.

Welcoming the updated guidance, Kennel Club secretary Caroline Kisko said: “This is very good news for the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme as it means that Defra recognises the fact that ABS members have signed up to meet specific standards of animal welfare, which in most cases go way beyond those required of local authorities.

“We also warmly welcome the clarification on the so-called trading income exemption, which has caused significant confusion for many breeders and local authorities alike.

“The law regulating breeders is an issue on which the Kennel Club has been lobbying the Government for a number of years, so to now see this clarification is very encouraging indeed as it shows that the Kennel Club is being heard by Government on matters involving dog breeders.”

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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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BVA Welsh Branch elects new president

Veterinary surgeon Ifan Lloyd was elected president of the BVA Welsh Branch at its AGM on 25 June.

Ifan has worked mainly in mixed practice since graduating from Cambridge University in 1988. He was a partner at St James Veterinary Group for 23 years and has continued to work part time at the practice since retiring in 2017.

He is passionate about animal health and disease eradication. He is a director of Cefn Gwlad Solutions, a company set up to lead bovine TB programmes in collaboration with other stakeholders. He is also director of lechyd Da (gwledig), the bTB testing delivery partner in South Wales.

Ifan said, “As a founding member of BVA Welsh Branch I am honoured and delighted to be elected as President. I have been passionate about representing the veterinary profession in Wales for many years and I plan to use this experience to represent my colleagues to the best of my abilities.”