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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and revenue generated by public use of the site is not enough to support the system, the services provided will be withdrawn from the 30th September.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
Labour Party makes a pledge to end the badger cull

Labour MP Maria Eagle has promised the controversial badger cull will end if her party is voted in at the next election.

Speaking at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the MP for Garston and Halewood said: "A Labour government will tackle the scourge of bovine TB, but not by using a policy dubbed 'an epic failure' by the chief scientific advisor of Natural England.

"Conference, I want to make it clear today. We will put a stop to these inhumane, ineffective badger culls."

The second year of badger culling officially began in Somerset and Gloucestershire earlier this month.