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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and revenue generated by public use of the site is not enough to support the system, the services provided will be withdrawn from the 30th September.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
BEVA Trust to launch vet volunteer pilot projects

Following a review of its activities and an assessment of BEVA members views, the BEVA Trust is set to launch a series of vet volunteer pilot projects. The projects will help to decide whether BEVA members' willingness to donate their own time can be used in ventures to improve equine health and welfare.

The review was undertook by experts from veterinary, equine, charity and commercial sectors. They considered the evolution of the Trust and gathered the views of BEVA members, to assess what charitable activities were needed and achievable. It was strongly agreed that BEVA should have a philanthropic arm and a significant majority expressed that they would be willing to donate their time in support of the trust.

In response to the review, the Trust now plans to make use of the expertise and significant intellectual capital within BEVA and put it to a charitable purpose through pilot partnerships with existing NGOs. An initial series of projects will involve collaboration with UK and international organisations, including the British Horse Society, to put equine veterinary volunteers on the ground to provide clinical skills and education.