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Winners announced for Sir Colin Spedding Award
The Princess Royal has recognised the work of Amanda Stoddart-West with the NEF award.
Joint winners received the NEF award.

The Sir Colin Spedding Award has been given to joint winners, during a ceremony held at the National Equine Forum (NEF) on 7 March.

This year’s award recognises two recipients, Kirsty Withnall and Amanda Stoddart-West, for their work on equine wellbeing.

Ms Withnall is a case officer for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Starting as an equine officer 23 years ago, Ms Withnall then became a case officer in the charity’s Special Operations Unit (SOU).

She gives uniformed response for the SOU, and conducts specialist criminal investigations into animal cruelty. This has included large-scale operations, involving cooperation across numerous agencies.

Ms Withnall said: "I am honoured and absolutely delighted to receive this extremely prestigious award.

“Through my 23 years working for the RSPCA, I know first-hand how rewarding but also extremely challenging the role can be, so it truly means a great deal to have my work recognised in this way.”

Sharing the award is Amanda Stoddart-West, a livestock and entries coordinator for the Great Yorkshire Show. She has worked on improving equine wellbeing at the show, including initiatives to improve rider to horse weight ratios and warm-up rules.

Ms Stoddart-West’s principles have since been widely adopted across other shows.

She said: “To be honest, I was totally shocked to be told that I had been nominated for the Sir Colin Spedding Award, and incredibly honoured to be a joint winner of such a revered honour.

“There are great efforts going into ensuring the highest standards of animal welfare nationally, and this award is a reflection of all of those who are doing such excellent work in this area.”

Ms Withnall and Ms Stoddart-West were presented with their award by the Princess Royal, who is president of NEF.

The Princess Royal also highly commended Award finalist Anne Dicker, a managing partner of the Catherston Stud. Ms Dicker provides advancing equine groom apprenticeships, as well as training fire responders, developing digital equine ID policy and furthering the principles of the Happy Equine Athlete.

Image © NEF

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Rabbit Awareness Week set to return this summer

News Story 1
 Rabbit Awareness Week (RAW) is returning this summer, running from 24-28 June 2024. The theme for this year will be 'Healthy Diet, Happy Bunnies'.

The focus on rabbits' diet comes after the most recent PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report report revealed that 42 per cent of veterinary professionals identified inappropriate diet as one of the five most important rabbit welfare issues that need to be address.

The campaign will include veterinary blogs, videos, and digital waiting room resources. Practices can sign up to receive updates about RAW. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
CVS Group hit by cyber attack

CVS Group, which owns more than 450 veterinary practices in the UK, has been hit by a cyber attack.

In a statement, the group said the incident involved unauthorised external access to a limited number of its IT systems. As soon as the attack was discovered, the group took its IT systems temporarily offline, causing 'considerable operational disruption'.

It has warned that the security steps taken and ongoing plans to move its operational systems and IT infrastructure to the Cloud are likely to have an ongoing impact over a number of weeks.

Due to the risk that personal information was accessed, CVS has informed the Information Commissioner's Office. The company is working with third party consultants to investigate the incident.