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Government-backed campaign urges public to 'give seals space'
The UK is home to 38 per cent of the entire world's population of grey seals.

Consideration when out walking is needed to prevent injury and even death.

A campaign has been launched by the Seal Alliance and the government in an effort to reduce the impact that human disturbance can have on seals.

The UK is home to 38 per cent of the entire world’s population of grey seals, as well as 30 per cent of the European subspecies of common seals.

There are numerous threats posed to these animals including climate change, toxic pollution, entanglement, collisions with vessels, plastics and other marine debris.

Human interaction, whether deliberate or unintentional, is a growing problem affecting seal populations. Young pups are particularly vulnerable, as their energy is wasted when they are startled by humans, causing them to struggle to haul out of the water in order to rest and digest their food.

Heavily pregnant female seals that are disturbed by humans have been known to stampede across rocks, which can prove fatal to both mother and pup. They also may be unable to build sufficient fat reserves as a result of stress so they cannot feed new-born pups adequately.

The Seal Alliance has created ‘Give Seals Space’ signs and leaflets, to raise awareness of the ways in which the public can protect these animals. These include:

  • keeping well away from seals so that they can’t smell, hear or see you – using a camera zoom or binoculars to view them
  • keeping dogs on a lead when in an area where seals might be present
  • never feeding seals
  • taking all litter home.

Environment secretary George Eustice said: “Disturbance by members of the public can be detrimental to seals, but this is entirely preventable. I would urge everyone to follow the guidance, give seals the space that they need and respect this vulnerable marine species.”

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Webinar to focus on equine worm control

News Story 1
 Vets, veterinary nurses and RAMAs are being invited to join a free CPD webinar on late winter and early spring equine worm control.

Hosted by Zoetis vet Dr Wendy Talbot, the webinar aims to help prescribers understand which parasites are of most concern at this time of year. It will also cover how to assess parasite risk, selecting a suitable wormer and spring wormer plans, concluding with a Q&A session.

The webinar takes place on Thursday, 18 March at 10 am and will be repeated at 7 pm for those unable to listen during the day. To book the 10 am webinar, click here, and to register for the 7 pm webinar, click here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.