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Northern Ireland considering culling badgers
£4 million research programme to be commissioned

Northern Ireland Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill has responded to recent criticism from the Ulster Farmer's Union (UFU) of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (DARD) policy on badger culling as a means of countering the spread of bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) by confirming that controlling the disease is a 'key priority'.

Ms O'Neill stated that “We are investing around £4million to commission a programme of TB and wildlife research and studies towards the ultimate aim of eradicating TB in cattle. We will use the evidence produced by this programme to inform a comprehensive approach that deals with all aspects of TB and will help to reduce the level of disease in cattle.”

“We already have a rigorous EU Commission approved eradication programme in place. We also need to build a sound evidence base to underpin further interventions in cattle and/or wildlife that could help to reduce TB as part of our eradication programme.” the Minister added.

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Cats Protection launches helpline for grieving cat owners

News Story 1
 A free, confidential helpline for grieving cat owners has been launched by Cats Protection.

Supported by online guides and leaflets, the Paws to Listen service offers owners emotional and practical help in coping with the loss of a cat.

The service comes as survey findings reveal that 75 per cent of cat owners believe the public underestimate how much the death of a cat can affect its owner.

For more information visit www.cats.org.uk or to speak to a volunteer on the Paws to Listen phone line, call 0800 024 94 94.  

News Shorts
BEVA welcomes new junior vice president

Renate Weller has been elected as junior vice president of the BEVA. Renate is professor of comparative imaging and biomechanics at the RVC and has been an active member of the equine veterinary profession for more than two decades.

Commenting on her new role she said: "I am committed to the vision of a BEVA that fully listens to and embodies the interests of those it represents in all discussions over the future of our profession, and the education and regulation of the allied professions to whom our clients may turn. "