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Expert Witness : Animal & Farming

Changes to dog legislation affect owners

Last year, amendments to the Dangerous Dogs Act were introduced under the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act. Recently, sentencing under those amendments came into force. The new laws extend both the scope of the Act and where offences can be committed.

According to pet information exchange Pets4Homes: "The original law effectively bans ownership of four breeds of dog within the UK - the Fila Brasileiro, the Dogo Argentino, the Japanese Tosa and the Pit Bull Terrier.

"However, it also covers the process in law to govern what happens to any dog of any breed that is considered to pose a risk to people, and this is something that not all dog owners are aware of."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 April 2017 12:55

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BASC works with Law Commission to improve firearms law

The British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) will be working with the Law Commission – the independent body which keeps the law of England and Wales under review and recommends reforms – on the future of firearms law.

The Commission, which recently issued a scoping consultation paper, is looking at questions such as the definition of lethality and antiques, what constitutes a component part of a firearm, the standard for deactivation and the case for fundamental reform of the law.

Before publishing the consultation the Law Commission held discussions with BASC’s expert firearms team, among others.

Last Updated on Friday, 24 July 2015 10:43

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Food fraud – the crime in our shopping baskets

Fraud in the food sector doesn’t just risk public health, it denies consumers the quality of produce they’ve paid for and undermines the profits of food companies, according to fraud experts.

Professor Lisa Jack is head of the Food Fraud Group at the University of Portsmouth and gave evidence to Professor Chris Elliott’s review of food safety, commissioned to review food safety after the 2013 horse meat scandal and published today.

She and Jim Gee, director of Counter Fraud Services for BDO, a leading member of the University’s Centre for Counter Fraud Studies group, and the first to begin extensive research into the financial cost of fraud to the food industry, were commenting in the wake of the Elliott Review.

Last Updated on Thursday, 19 February 2015 17:10

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Expert views sought on bovine TB measures

Picture of a cow for Your Expert Witness storyA consultation is being held by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on additional measures to strengthen bovine TB cattle controls to prevent the spread of the disease.

The consultation was launched on 11 June, when statistics were published showing the rate of new herd infections at its lowest point for 10 years.

The latest statistics show that the monthly incidence rate, which is the proportion of new outbreaks discovered through testing, was around 3.25%. That is the lowest rate since 2004 and follows a similarly low rate in February of 3.5%.

Last Updated on Thursday, 26 June 2014 11:21

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Consultation launched on pig meat inspection

Picture of pigs hanging up for your Expert witness storyOn 25 March the Food Standards Agency launched a six-week consultation on new rules for pig meat inspections which come into force in June. The new rules are being introduced across the European Union and will help official veterinarians and meat inspectors to target public health risks better, while providing a more proportionate and risk-based inspection regime.

The new rules will focus on the visual inspection of all pigs and will mean health checks can be carried out in a way that reduces the risk of bacteria being spread around the meat.

Scientific evidence has shown that hands-on inspection – where the carcass and offal is handled and cut – can spread harmful bacteria. Hands on inspection will still be carried out, but only where information from the farm or visual inspection at the abattoir has identified potential concerns.

There will also be stricter rules for salmonella control and more risk-based testing for the parasite trichinella.

The consultation, which runs until 6 May, is seeking views on the practical application of the changes in the UK and the costs, benefits and wider impacts for stakeholders.

Steve Wearne, director of policy at the FSA, said: “The current system needs modernising. Our meat hygiene controls were developed more than a century ago to tackle the health concerns of the day. A modernised inspection system will protect consumers better and be more proportionate to slaughterhouses that control risks effectively.

“We want to ensure the new controls are proportionate and take into account the views of producers and consumers of pork. We look forward to hearing all of the views that come out of this consultation.”

Last Updated on Sunday, 30 March 2014 19:10