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MPs to address concerns over puppy smuggling
Prices for some of the UK's most popular dog breeeds reached record levels during the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year.

Evidence session to explore how heightened demand for pets may have encouraged crime.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Committee is set to explore continuing concerns around illegal smuggling of pets into the UK in a one-off evidence session.

It comes after figures released by Dogs Trust revealed that prices for some of the UK's most popular dog breeds reached record levels during the coronavirus lockdown in March. The charity fears the price hike is both fuelling the illegal importation of puppies and the cruel and unsanitary conditions that puppies have to endure.

During the session, MPs will question how unprecedented changes in supply and demand for pets may have encouraged crime and the extent to which new laws and campaigns have helped reduce pet smuggling and cruelty.

The session will also explore to what the end of the Brexit transition period will mean for pet imports and the level of support provided to animal charities during the pandemic. Among the contributors will be Dogs Trust veterinary director, Paula Boydon, BVA senior vice president, Daniella Dos Santos, and animal welfare minister, Zac Goldsmith.

Paul Boyden said: “It’s shocking to see how much dogs are being advertised for sale online and in particular how prices for some of the most popular smuggled breeds have increased during the coronavirus lockdown.

“While there are many responsible sellers out there, sadly there are plenty who are just looking to tug on the heartstrings and exploit the situation for their own profit.”

The evidence session takes place remotely on Tuesday, 24 November, at 2.30 pm. To watch the session live, visit GOV.UK 

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RCVS launches photo contest for Mental Health Awareness Week

News Story 1
 The RCVS Mind Matters Initiative (MMI) is holding a photo competition for Mental Health Awareness Week to highlight the link between the natural world and wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) aims to encourage people to talk about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can prevent people from seeking help. This year's theme is nature - notably the connection between the natural world and better mental health.

The RCVS is calling on aspiring photographers to submit a photo on this theme to Lisa Quigley, Mind Matters manager, at l.quigley@rcvs.org.uk with a short explanation about their submission and why nature improves their mental health and wellbeing.  

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News Shorts
WSAVA to host free webinar on illegal online puppy trade

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) has announced a free webinar to update veterinary professionals across Europe about the illegal online puppy trade. Taking place on Tuesday, 25 May, the webinar will also discuss the importance of the new EU Animal Health Law to help prevent illegal pet sales and make sellers accountable for their actions.

WSAVA chair Dr Natasha Lee said: "Veterinary professionals regularly have to deal with the repercussions of illicit breeding and trading when presented with clinically ill and sometimes dying puppies and distraught owners. Our webinar will equip veterinarians in Europe with the knowledge to play their part in upholding the new legislation and to contribute to new solutions for regulating the online puppy trade."

For more details visit wsava.org