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Rise in people looking to give up unwanted animals
Calls about unwanted cats have risen by 151 per cent since last year.

Owners urged to consult trainer or behaviourist before surrendering pets

The Scottish SPCA has reported a spike in calls to its helpline about unwanted animals as hundreds of people are coming to regret their decision to purchase 'lockdown pets'.

Between 1 September 2020 and 5 January 2021, the charity received 476 calls from people considering giving up their animals. This is compared to 205 calls in the same period in 2019/20.

Calls from people looking to give up unwanted dogs have increased 103 per cent, while calls about unwanted cats have shot up by 151 per cent.

Chief superintendent Mike Flynn said that the charity has been concerned about a rise in unwanted animals since the surge in people buying or adopting pets across last year as they spent more time at home.

He added: “People should consider their future lifestyle and how to help their pet adapt. Spending time away from their pet so they can get used to being alone is a good start.

“It is heart-breaking to see a healthy animal which loves their family given up because the owners have lost interest or not considered how their circumstances may change. We would urge people to consider a reputable behaviourist or training before they give up their pet.

Thankfully, the charity has not seen the same increase in abandonments across this period, despite the increase in people wanting to surrender their pets.

“People who are considering adopting an animal should think long and hard about their circumstances and whether it is the right thing to do.” Mr Flynn concluded, urging anyone considering giving up an animal to contact Scottish SPCA's confidential helpline.

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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: rvc.uk.com/SummerSchools Applications close on the 2 March 2021.