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Christmas cooking fat can be fatal for birds
Only pure fats like lard are suitable for birds to consume.

RSPB reminds public which fats are beneficial 

With Christmas fast approaching, the RSPB is reminding people not to put out cooking fat from their roast dinners for garden birds, as it can be damaging to their health and well-being.

As natural food sources and insects are harder to find in the winter months, leaving out leftover Christmas cake or mince pie crumbs is a great way to provide a high-energy food source for birds. But overly salty foods and cooked turkey fat can be dangerous.

RSPB wildlife advisor Katie Nethercoat says: “Many people wrongly believe that leaving cooked turkey fat outside is beneficial for birds, but in fact it can have disastrous effects… Only pure fats such as lard and suet should be used to make homemade fat balls which will give birds the energy and nutrients to survive the cold winter months.”

The consistency of cooled fat mixed with roasted meat juices is prone to smearing, and would interfere greatly with waterproofing and insulation if it were to spread over a bird’s feathers. If the fat is kept in a warm kitchen before being put outside it can turn rancid, which facilitates the growth of food poisoning bacteria such as salmonella. This can be fatal to birds in the same way it is to people.

If nature lovers would like to make a bird friendly Christmas cake, the RSPB suggests mixing bird seed, nuts and raisins together with lard, squashing it in and around a pinecone, then hanging it from a suitable tree with string. Leaving treats like this out will encourage birds such as robins, wrens and redwings to visit your garden during winter.

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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News Shorts
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.