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Sheep industry launches welfare strategy
The strategy will focus on elements of sheep welfare including lameness and pain management.
Five-year plan aims to improve sheep welfare.

The industry body Ruminant Health and Welfare (RH&W) has launched the first ever UK Sheep Welfare Strategy.

The initiative, which will run until 2028, aims to help the sheep sector improve animal welfare and demonstrate evidence-based progress.

The strategy includes six strategic goals:
  • Healthy feet – reducing lameness
  • Appropriate body condition – ensuring optimal body condition scores
  • Thriving lambs – providing good nutrition and protecting against disease
  • Collaborative flock management – active collaboration between farmers, veterinary surgeons and advisers
  • Positive welfare – focusing on welfare when making all management decisions
  • Sheep comfort – making sure every farm has a proactive pain management plan.

More than 95 businesses and organisations have signed up to the strategy.

National Sheep Association chief executive and RH&W steering group member Phil Stocker said: “This strategy will provide great ammunition to drive forward the sector across a wide range of welfare improvements over the next five years including the licensing of analgesics, influencing Government support programmes, and conditions in transport and at slaughter.

“The strategy contains a five-step plan for delivery, which includes a commitment for routine meetings with a working group representing all stakeholders so we can agree an action plan for each of the six goals.

“It will be challenging, but through RH&W we are determined to find ways to demonstrate and evidence the progress by producing an annual progress report for transparency.”

A similar strategy for dairy cattle was launched by RH&W earlier this year and there are plans to launch one for beef cattle.

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RH&W

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.