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Defra confirm funding withdrawal for NED
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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and revenue generated by public use of the site is not enough to support the system, the services provided will be withdrawn from the 30th September.

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News Shorts
Deadly spider found in supermarket bananas

A family has been left traumatised after finding the world's deadliest spider in one of their shopping bags. The Brazilian wandering spider - whose bite can kill within two hours - was found in a home delivery from Waitrose.

According to the Mail on Sunday, the customer, who has been identified only as Tim, found the spider while unpacking bananas and managed to identify its species online. A sac containing hundreds of spider eggs was also found.

Brazilian wandering spiders are usually found in South America and appear in the Guinness World Records as the world's most venomous spider.

The RSPCA and the police both said they were unable to help deal with such a dangerous animal, according to the Mail on Sunday's report. Pest control expert Steve Trippett was called in and succeeding in killing the eggs by freezing them and trapping the spider, which became aggressive.