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Cats Protection CEO to advise government on animal welfare
James Yeates is the only new appointee to the AWC to specialise in companion animals.

James Yeates is one of four new members of the Animal Welfare Committee

Cats Protection’s chief executive James Yeates is set to be a key advisor to the Government on important animal welfare issues. 

The leading feline charity has confirmed James’ appointment to the government’s Animal Welfare Committee (AWC), which consist of experts in wild animals, farming and pets*. The panel provides detailed research and advice to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales.

James is a former chief veterinary officer at the RSPCA and an RCVS Registered specialist in animal welfare, science, ethics and law. He is also a diplomate of the RCVS and the European College of Animal Welfare and Behavioural Medicine.

Since 2018, James has been chief executive of Cats Protection, leading efforts to expand the charity’s rehoming, neutering and advocacy work. He is the only new appointee to the AWC to specialise in companion animals.

“I’m delighted to be taking up this role with the Animal Welfare Committee as an expert in the welfare of companion animals. The Committee has a strong record in being a force for good, and looks set to have an ever-greater impact and importance in the coming years,” said James.

“This role offers the potential to translate scientific findings, alongside other research and information, into guidance that will help animals and the people who live, work and care for animals. It’s an honour to be working alongside like-minded individuals to help improve the welfare of all animals in the UK.”

*The other members of the panel are:

Dr Pen Rashbass - farm animal welfare
Dr Romain Pizzi - the welfare of wild animals kept by people
Professor Sarah Wolfensohn - the welfare of animals kept by people.

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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.