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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and revenue generated by public use of the site is not enough to support the system, the services provided will be withdrawn from the 30th September.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
Open window warning for curious cats

With temperatures soaring, the Blue Cross are warning pet owners of the dangers of open windows, after 22 cats were injured by falls in just one month.

Despite the belief that cats always land on their feet, the force at which cats land can cause massive internal and facial injuries. The Blue Cross say that sadly, cats do not always survive.

Mark Bossley, head vet at Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, says: "Each year we see a number of cats who have sustained injuries due to falling out of open windows."

"It is important for owners to remember that although cats have tremendous agility, accidents can happen and these types are more common than people think."

"In some cases there is nothing we can do and the cat passes away."

The Blue Cross urges owners living above ground level to keep their cats away from open windows and balconies, or to cover open windows with a mesh screen to stop curious cats from falling out.