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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Double celebration for two Zara’s

Picture of Zara-Phillips for Expert Witness animal storyWith the country celebrating the success of the GB equestrian team in the Olympic Games in winning the Silver Medal, the RSPCA has reported a "fantastic response" to its appeal for people to come forward and foster young horses and ponies.

Launched on 14 May, the aim of the Stable Future appeal was to find foster carers for young horses and ponies that had suffered neglect and cruelty until such time as they were ready to go to permanent new homes. Many of the 270 young ponies in the care of the RSPCA have found foster carers and at least 13 horses have already gone to their new homes.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 August 2012 11:10

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Figures released on animal experiments

Expert Witness: picture of Laboratory Mice by Aaron LoganStatistics on the use of animals in scientific research in Great Britain have been published by the Home Office. The document, Statistics of scientific procedures on living animals 2011, was compiled from returns provided by 100% of project licence holders and published on 10 July. The figures show that just over 3.79 million scientific procedures were started in Great Britain in 2011, an increase of 2% on 2010. The breeding of genetically modified animals and harmful mutants – mainly mice – remained stable, accounting for 1.62 million procedures.

The Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU) has also published its annual report for 2011. The report provides a collective account of the activities of the home office regulation of animal testing.

Last Updated on Friday, 13 July 2012 13:50

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Mammal expert gives evidence in hunting trial

Your Expert Witness HuntIn May three members of the Crawley and Horsham Hunt were convicted of illegal hunting – the first such convictions in the county. Andrew Phillis, Neill Millard and Rachel Holdsworth were convicted of hunting foxes with dogs on two occasions in January last year, during which they were videoed by hunt monitors. The video footage was seen during the trial. All three were fined – between £500 and £1,000 – and ordered to pay costs. Charges against a fourth accused, a joint master of the hunt, were dropped during the trial.

The accused had denied they were chasing foxes, claiming they were trail hunting, but had denied the charges, saying they were out trail hunting ? following an artificially laid scent - and did not plan to hunt or kill any foxes. However, Crown Prosecutor Mark Bishop said: "The defendants claimed that the foxes seen on film being chased by the hunt's hounds were not being hunted intentionally and that the hounds were following an artificial scent.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:01

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UK governments agree devolved fish quota system

Your Expert Witness Fisheries minister Richard BenyonThe four nations in the UK are to be given greater power to manage their own fishing quotas, following an agreement reached by Fisheries Minister Richard Benyon (pictured) and the devolved governments.

Under the agreement, the UK, Scottish and Welsh Governments, and the Northern Ireland Executive will each be allocated annually-agreed shares of UK-wide fish quotas for distribution to their own fleets. They will be based on the number of boats in each area and the quota they already receive. However, fishing vessels will be free to move their operations to other parts of the UK.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:03

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RSPCA critical of Government over animal welfare directive

Your Expert Witness LabratA European Union Directive on the care and housing of animals used in scientific experiments must be passed into UK law by 1 January next year. Although the new regulations apply new welfare standards across the EU, many of the standards are below what is already in place in the UK, according to the RSPCA, which is concerned that an option to retain more stringent standards may not be taken up in its entirety.

On 27 March Parliament debated the Government’s proposals for passing the new directive into UK law, prompting the RSPCA to issue a statement.

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 11:05

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