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Government expands expert animal welfare committee
The new Animal Welfare Committee will advise government on future farming reforms.
Remit to include pets, wild animals kept by people and farmed animals

The government has expanded the remit of its Farm Animal Welfare Committee to provide advice to ministers on pets, wild animals kept by people and farmed animals.

The committee was renamed on Tuesday (1 October) to the Animal Welfare Committee and will continue to advise Defra and the Devolved Administrations (DAs) in Scotland and Wales.

“We are a nation of animal lovers and this government is committed to taking important steps forward to strengthen our already high standards on animal welfare,” commented animal welfare minister, Zac Goldsmith.

“The committee has provided the government with invaluable advice over the years and I look forward to continuing work with colleagues as they broaden their remit to include pets and wild animals kept by people, as well as farmed animals.”

Peter Jinman, chair of the Animal Welfare Committee, said: “I welcome the expansion of the committee’s remit to advise on a broader spectrum of animal welfare issues and encourage experts with the relevant skills to apply for a role in this important new area of activity.”

The main priorities of the new Animal Welfare Committee include:
  • advising government on future farming reforms to deliver welfare enhancements
  • advising government on the welfare of companion animals and wild animals kept by people
  • reviewing dairy and beef cattle production systems and the welfare of the animals
  • working closely with the European Forum of Animal Welfare Councils (EuroFAWC).

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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.