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Government backs bill to update livestock worrying legislation
The bill will increase the number of species covered by livestock worrying legislation.
Alpacas and llamas to be added to the list of species covered by law.

The government has backed a Private Members’ Bill to amend the legislation around livestock worrying, meaning the bill is now likely to become law.

The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Thérèse Coffey, will give the police greater powers and expand the range of animals and locations covered by livestock worrying rules.

Under the amended legislation, the police will have more powers to collect evidence samples from livestock and dogs, including being authorised to enter and search premises. They will also be able to seize and detain dogs after serious incidents.

Alpacas and llamas will be added to the list of animals covered by the legislation. The bill will also expand the places where the law can be enforced to include roads and paths.

The changes will update the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953, which defines livestock worrying as a dog attacking or chasing livestock or being at large in a field or enclosure containing sheep, and will apply to England and Wales. Since the act was created, the amount of livestock in England and Wales has doubled.

Measures to tackle livestock worrying had previously been part of the government’s own Kept Animals Bill, which was dropped by ministers last year despite widespread support from animal welfare and veterinary organisations.

Farming minister Mark Spencer said: “Livestock worrying has a devastating impact, causing distress to farmers and their animals, as well as the financial implications.
“This bill will crack down on this issue, widening the scope to protect more farm animals covered by law and giving police more powers to act. We will do all we can to support its swift passage through Parliament.”

Image © Shutterstock

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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.