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New resource to help vets tackle illegal importation
The resource provides information on what veterinary surgeons should consider when a client brings their pet in for its first check-up.

Flowchart provides guidance on how to report suspected cases

A new resource to help veterinary surgeons identify and report pets they believe may have been imported illegally has been launched by the British Veterinary Association (BVA).


The resource - a compliance flowchart - provides information on what veterinary surgeons should consider when a client brings their pet in for its first check-up. It also provides guidance on navigating client confidentiality, how to report concerns of illegal imports and an overview of how local authorities are likely to respond.

It comes in response to a recent Voice of the Veterinary Profession Survey which found vets are finding it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to report concerns to Trading Standards. Other concerns raised were a lack or proof or sufficient evidence to investigate, breaching client confidentiality and uncertainty about how to report suspicions.

BVA president Daniella Dos Santos said: “Veterinary teams can often be the first to suspect that an animal may have been illegally imported when an owner takes their pet for its first check-up. But our surveys have identified a compelling need for clearly defined routes and mechanisms for vets to more easily report suspected cases of illegal import.

“Our flow chart and supporting guidance aim to empower vets to report any such cases, thus helping to tackle the scourge of illegal importation and protecting animal welfare, both of the imported dogs and the larger canine population in the UK. I would encourage veterinary teams to put up the poster in their practices and use it to help report any suspicions to relevant authorities with ease.”

The resource has been launched in collaboration with the National Animal Health and Welfare Panel with support from Dogs Trust.

NAHWP contingency planning lead John Chaplin said: “Vets are often in the front line when it comes to identifying suspect illegal imports and the recent BVA survey has highlighted a lack of clarity on how any concerns can be reported. Local authorities are tasked with responding to potential breaches of the pet passport rules and work closely with the Animal and Plant Health Agency to quickly respond to all suspect cases.


“Dealing with a client whilst trying to understand the rules can be a difficult and complex process, however, the guidance and flowchart formulated in partnership with BVA will provide a useful tool to enable vets to quickly identify and report concerns.”

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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.