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Consumers should have choice to buy chlorinated chicken, says Defra scientist
Sir Ian said that, in terms of health, “there really isn’t a problem with chlorinated chicken”.

Sir Ian Boyd believes there are no related health problems

Defra chief scientist Sir Ian Boyd says that consumers should be able to choose whether they are allowed to buy chlorinated chicken.

In an interview with Sky News, Sir Ian said that, in terms of health, “there really isn’t a problem with chlorinated chicken”. He believes the problem concerns animal welfare and production processes, “and that is a values-based choice that people need to make.”

“My view is that we need to be allowed to make that choice,” he said. “But it is the job of the people like me to make sure that we explain as clearly as possible what the consequences of different choices are for people.”

Sir Ian also disputed the idea that eating hormone-treated beef may have adverse effects on human health.

“The chances are that most if it will have been metabolised when it comes into the meat you would eat,” he said. “The chances of it having any biological effect on us is almost infinitesimally small.”

Chlorine-washed chicken - washing chicken in chlorinated water to remove harmful bacteria - is banned in the EU. The ban has prevented virtually all US imports of chicken meat treated in this way.

In recent months, however, there has been much discussion about chlorinated chicken and its place in any post-Brexit trade deal with the US. UK farming leaders fear this could lead to the lowering of food production standards.

Speaking to BBC News, National Farmers Union (NFU) president Minette Batters said US farmers could “outcompete” British farmers should any trade deal be reached, and called on the government to provide reassurance to farmers:

"Are we going to hold our nerve or are we going to be sacrificed?" she said. "We need that assurance from the prime minister."

The NFU has called on the Government to enshrine EU regulations on food production in law after Brexit. However, this has not yet been agreed.


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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.