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RSPCA calls for primate pet ban
Court case prompts calls for ban.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has called for a ban on keeping primates as pets after a court case in which a West Midlands couple who sold a severely  malformed marmoset rather than take it to a vet were disqualified from keeping animals for life. Mrs Sheryll Murray MP, the Member of Parliament for South East Cornwall, has also announced that she will push for a ban.

Disturbing film footage showing the marmoset named 'Mikey' attempting to walk on bent legs and being unable to climb was shown to Dudley Magistrates Court. The offence first came to light after the couple sold the baby monkey to a pensioner while it was in a hamster cage in the back of a car in a chip shop car park. The pensioner took it to a local exotic pet dealer, who alerted the RSPCA.

Lee Powell, 50, and Julie Ann Jones, 41, both of Sunderland Drive, Stourbridge, were found guilty of causing the animal unnecessary suffering. Both were ordered to pay more than £5,000 in costs and compensation and do 300 hours of unpaid work. The marmoset, who was found to have advanced bone disease, seven fractures and a broken tail, had to be put down.

RSPCA inspectors dealt with 315 incidents involving 645 pet primates between 2001 and 2010. "Welfare issues" were cited in half of the incidents and legal action was taken in six cases, resulting in two convictions. Complaints about primates are four to twelve times higher than those concerning more conventional pets.

“Primates are so complicated and have such complex needs and most primate owners, unless they have very specialist training, cannot look after them properly," said RSPCA Primatologist Lisa Riley.

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) brought in a code of practice for primate keepers in 2010. However, the code is "non-binding" and animal charities have pointed out that it is largely unknown. Furthermore, many primates are illegally traded due to endangered species protection status.

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Shedding light on laminitis

News Story 1
 A new awareness day has been launched to help find out the frequency of laminitis in Britain, as well as possible prevention methods. Horse owners are being asked to share data about this debilitating condition as part of National CARE Month (10 February).

The CARE study is being carried out at the Animal Health Trust and Royal Veterinary College. To date, it is the largest web-based project of its kind. So far, it has 1,500 members who are asked to submit regular information about their horse or pony's health and management.

A further 1,000 members are needed for the study. Participation is open to all types, ages, sizes and breeds of horse or pony, whether they have had laminitis or not. See www.careaboutlaminitis.org.uk for more information.  

News Shorts
Investigation prompts calls to withdraw use of antibiotics on poultry farms

An investigation by the Bureau of Investigation has revealed that UK poultry farmers increased their use of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones by 59 per cent in 2014. This is equal to using 1.126 tonnes of fluoroquinolones in 2014, compared with 0.71 tonnes the previous year.

The findings, acquired from the British Poultry Council, have prompted calls for the antibiotics to be immediately withdrawn from use in British poultry farms.

To read more visit www.vetcommunity.com