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Blue Cross survey reveals concerns about impact of fireworks on horses
35 per cent of horse owners surveyed reported accidents as a direct result of fireworks.

Charity asks public not to let off fireworks this New Year

Blue Cross is urging people to forgo private firework displays for New Year's Eve this year, after a survey conducted by the charity revealed high levels of concern among horse owners regarding the effect of fireworks on horses.

The survey was carried out in early December. It showed that 69 per cent of horse owners are extremely concerned about the welfare of their animals this winter. Many reported difficulties in predicting when fireworks would be let off, making it difficult to plan accordingly.

Preparations that horse owners made in anticipation of firework displays included putting the animal into a stable early, playing music, distracting it with food and in some cases using prescribed medication and herbal remedies.

Despite these efforts 35 per cent of owners reported accidents as a direct result of fireworks. Several said that these accidents resulted in the animal having to be euthanised.

The survey also polled pet owners, finding that 70 per cent were concerned for their dog or cat's welfare during fireworks season.

Gemma Taylor, Blue Cross education officer, said: “These results have laid bare the extent of suffering so many of the nation’s horses go through for days and weeks at a time every single year.

“That’s why we are pleading with people to think about their own actions this New Year’s Eve and consider ditching setting off loud fireworks, which leave many horses literally shaking in fear, for other celebrations.

“We know at Blue Cross just how upsetting this time of year can be for animals – especially now we are seeing more and more people doing their own fireworks in their back gardens and private fields. Let’s all do our bit to help make this fear a thing of the past.”

The charity has produced a series of posters to help spread awareness about the negative impact of fireworks on pets. These can be downloaded on the Blue Cross website.

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Born Free video highlights how humans are to blame for COVID-19

News Story 1
 Wildlife charity Born Free has released a video emphasising the importance of changing the ways in which humans treat wildlife in order to prevent pandemics from occurring in the future.

The video, narrated by founder patron Joanna Lumley OBE, says: "To deal with the very immediate threat of another global catastrophe, we have to focus on ending the destruction and conversion of natural habitats and the devastating impact of the wildlife trade.

"The vast majority of these viruses originated in wild animals before infecting us. Destroying and exploiting nature puts us in closer contact with wildlife than ever before."

Born Free has compiled an online resource with information on how to take action and improve protections for wildlife here.

To view the video, please click here.

Images (c) Jan Schmidt-Burbach. 

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RVC opens 2021 Summer Schools applications

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has opened applications for its 2021 Summer Schools, with students in Years 10, 11 and 12 invited to apply.

Taking place between July and August 2021, the event gives budding vets from all backgrounds first-hand insight into what it's like to study at the Campus.

Much of this year's content is likely to be delivered virtually, including online lectures and practical demonstrations, but the RVC hopes to welcome each of the participants to campus for at least one day to gain some hands-on experience.

For more information about the Schools and to apply, visit: Applications close on the 2 March 2021.