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Defra confirm funding withdrawal for NED
The National Equine Database will close in September

It has been confirmed by Defra that funding for the National Equine Database (NED) will be discontinued and the system will be closed down at the end of September this year.

NED manages data from passport issuing organisations on behalf of the Government. The NED Online public website has been live since 2008 and an increasing number of users visit the site every day to search for horses, check passports and to report horses as lost, stolen and recovered.

Earlier in the year a tendering process for a new central equine database was initiated by the Government and companies were invited to submit bids. However, Defra decided that on the basis of a cost benefit analysis of the bids submitted in conjunction with the benefits of and need for a central system, the contract would not be awarded to any of the bidders and that no new central, Defra funded database would exist.

BEF’s Chief Executive, Andrew Finding, said: “Given the challenges of public expenditure we understand Defra’s decision, it is sad that they have decided not to continue to fund NED Ltd. We welcome their commitment to maintain and strengthen the requirements for Passport Issuing Organisations and address the serious issues of abandoned and fly-grazed horses and the introduction of additional measures to improve the quality and robustness of passports to protect the human food chain.”

As funding will be ceased and revenue generated by public use of the site is not enough to support the system, the services provided will be withdrawn from the 30th September.

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Working dogs help celebrate 50 years of Eye Scheme

News Story 1
 Fifty working dogs and 50 dogs over eight years old are being offered free eye examinations to celebrate 50 years of the Hereditary Eye Disease Scheme.

The main purpose of the Hereditary Eye Disease Scheme, which currently screens for 12 conditions in over 50 breeds, is to ensure there is no evidence of hereditary eye disease in dogs used for breeding.

Organisers say that The Canine Health Scheme, run by the BVA and Kennel Club, will approach a number of working dog organisations to organise the exams.

Owners of dogs that are over eight can contact the CHS office on 020 7908 6380 for details of their nearest participating eye panelist. 

News Shorts
Princess Anne presents award to Moredun chief

The Royal Smithfield Club has awarded its prestigious bicentenary trophy to Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, for her "outstanding contribution" to promoting the highest standards of livestock health and welfare in the UK and worldwide. Prof Fitzpatrick is chief executive of the Moredun Group and scientific director of the Moredun Research Institute. Upon receiving her award from HRH the Princess Royal, she said she was "greatly honoured", and thanked her colleagues at Moredun, foundation members, the Royal Smithfield Club and the livestock industry.