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Charities urge Northern Ireland to ban hunting with dogs
The charities want to see the law changed to ban fox hunting in Northern Ireland.
Fox hunting is still legal in Northern Ireland.

The League Against Cruel Sports and the Ulster Society for the Prevention Cruelty to Animals (USPCA) have joined forces to call on Northern Ireland to ban hunting with dogs.

They have launched a new 'Together Campaign' and are urging members of the public to sign a petition in favour of a ban.

Despite being against the law elsewhere in the UK since the early 2000s, hunting wild mammals with dogs for sport, including foxes, is still legal in Northern Ireland.

A recent poll conducted in February 2024 showed that almost half of people in Northern Ireland think that hunting with dogs is already illegal. After being informed that it is legal, around 75 per cent of ten respondents supported the introduction of a ban on fox hunting.

A previous attempt to ban the activity in 2021 failed, after a Private Members Bill to ban hunting wild animals with dogs was defeated in the Northern Ireland Assembly by 45 votes to 38.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports in Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “There are humane alternatives such as drag hunting which allow for the traditional pageantry but crucially don’t involve encouraging a pack of dogs to chase and kill wild animals across the countryside.

“While farmers need effective methods of pest control, evidence shows that hunting with dogs isn’t one of them. It’s a sport that is cruel to the wild animals and the dogs that are forced to kill them.”

Nora Smith, USPCA chief executive, added: “People across all age groups and across all parts of Northern Ireland want this terrible form of animal cruelty to end. This is supported by recent polling which shows that between seven and eight people out of ten want to see a ban.

“The USPCA is pleased to join with the League Against Cruel Sports to campaign for a ban. Together we can make a positive change.”

Image © Shutterstock

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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. 

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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.