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BVA responds to the Queen's Speech
The BVA has long-campaigned for action in areas covered by the Bill.
The Association welcomes a pledge to bring the Kept Animals Bill into law. 

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has welcomed a pledge from the government to prioritise animal welfare in the next parliamentary session.

While animal welfare did not receive a mention in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday (10 May), upcoming legislation accompanying it confirmed that the Kept Animals Bill will continue its passage into law via a carryover motion.

The Bill, which has already gone through its first and second reading in parliament, aims to tackle welfare issues such as pet theft and puppy smuggling. A date for the report stage and third reading of the Bill is due to be announced.

The BVA has long-campaigned for action in areas covered by the Bill, but says that progress has stalled in recent months.

Plans to ban the import and sale of fur and foie gras were not included in Tuesday's announcement, which would have been introduced via the Animals Abroad Bill. BVA has previously warned against importing animal products that fail to meet the UK’s high health and welfare standards.

Justine Shotton, BVA President, said: “We’re disappointed that animal welfare didn’t get a mention in the Queen’s Speech itself, but at least reassured that the carryover motion cements plans to finally get the Kept Animals Bill over the line and into law. This crucial and long-awaited piece of legislation promises to bring in a cross-species suite of measures that will improve the lives of billions of animals.

“The Bill pledges to tackle issues which our members have identified as some of most pressing animal health and welfare issues of our times, and the impact of the pandemic on longstanding concerns such as puppy smuggling has only added to this urgency. BVA urges the government to bring this vital Bill into law as a top priority in the upcoming parliamentary session.”

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World Bee Day celebrations begin

News Story 1
 Today (20 May) marks the fifth annual World Bee Day, which raises awareness of the importance of bees and pollinators to people and the planet. Observed on the anniversary of pioneering Slovenian beekeeper Anton Jana's birthday, this year's celebration is themed: 'Bee Engaged: Celebrating the diversity of bees and beekeeping systems'.

Organisations and people celebrating the day will raise awareness of the accelerated decline in pollinator diversity, and highlight the importance of sustainable beekeeping systems and a wide variety of bees. Slovenia, the initiator of World Bee Day, will be focusing on teaching young people about the significance of pollinators. 

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News Shorts
Further avian flu cases confirmed

Three cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 have been confirmed in recent days, bringing the total number of cases in England to 98.

On Thursday, the APHA confirmed two cases of HPAI H5N1 near Redgrave, Mid Suffolk and Market Weston, West Suffolk. A case H5N1 was also confirmed in poultry at a premises near Southwell, Newark and Sherwood, Nottinghamshire.

Protection and surveillance zones are in place around the affected premises. Further details are available at gov.uk