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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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New series shares recipes for pet-safe festive treats

News Story 1
 Battersea has launched a new Christmas baking series across all it's social media channels, to teach owners how to make pet-safe treats for dogs and cats.

The two-part series will show dog owners how to make Christmas dog treats using xylitol-free peanut butter and banana. Meanwhile, cat owners will be taught how to use rolled oats and turkey to make a festive snack for their pet.

Battersea also reminds pet owners of the importance of insuring that animals maintain a healthy balanced diet and adds that these food items should only be given as a treat.

To view the series, please visit Battersea's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Image (c) Battersea. 

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APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at