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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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Cats Protection launches Christmas animation

News Story 1
 Leading feline charity Cats Protection has launched a heartwarming Christmas animation to raise awareness of the important work it does. The animation is based on a true story of a kitten that went missing earlier this year. Freezing cold and hungry, the kitten was dumped in a box on a roadside and somehow became separated from her brother and sisters.


Thankfully there is a happy end to this tail, and Libby - now named Misty - was eventually reunited with her littermates. Misty’s owner, Amy Smith, said: “Misty has settled amazingly well into our home, she has found a best friend in my daughter Lily and likes to follow her around the house. She also loves to chase bugs in the garden. We feel very lucky to have her.” 

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WSAVA launches certificate programme focusing on companion animals in One Health

The first certificate programme focusing specifically on the role of companion animals in One Health has been launched by the One Health Committee (OHC) of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA).

The online programme, which is free of charge for WSAVA members, has been developed in recognition of the growing impact of companion animals in human society. Pet ownership is becoming more popular globally, and this has increased the implications for One Health, regarding the human-companion animal bond. The WSAVA OHC hopes that this course will bridge the knowledge gap between veterinary surgeons and human physicians. New modules are being added weekly, with a total of 20 modules expected to be available by early 2020.