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Call for meeting of animal sanctuaries to discuss AWB

FOLLOWING THE Second Reading of the Government’s far-reaching Animal Welfare Bill earlier this month, there is growing concern amongst many smaller animal charities and rescue sanctuaries at the apparent speed at which the Government has decided to insist on strict licensing and inspection of all sanctuaries.

The AWB is currently being discussed in Standing Committee and it appears that the Government is now being urged to licence the sanctuaries through the Bill itself, rather than Secondary Legislation as previously proposed.

Andrew Meades, who runs the Safewings Wildlife Conservation Project in Isham, Northants is planning to arrange a ‘summit meting’ of all concerned animal sanctuaries and interested parties to discuss and, if needs be, oppose the Government’s plans.

Mr Meades told OUR DOGS: "There is growing concern that many areas of the New Animal Welfare Bill are being pushed through by extremists’ pressure and an area of serious concern is how the many UK Sanctuaries will be affected by new legislation.

There is concern in regard to the Licensing / Registration and Inspection of Sanctuaries once the new Bill is introduced. Many Sanctuaries will face closure due to possibly high additional costs and due to possible unworkable, unviable guidelines.

Many MPs have called for Sanctuaries to be licensed in the first area of the Bill and not, as was proposed, in the secondary Legislation.

"The vital work of many of the UK`s Sanctuaries and its importance in areas of Animal welfare means it is paramount that suitable, workable guidelines are introduced and this should come from those experienced Sanctuaries that are the forefront of animal rehabilitation and welfare in this Country."

A venue has been provided for this important meeting, namely the Cotswold Wildlife Park, Oxfordshire at a date set once responses are received from a number of sanctuaries, whilst Mr Meades is hoping for some representation from DEFRA, the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) and MPs.

For further information on the summit, please contact: Andrew Meads, Safewings Wildlife Conservation Projects, South Street, Isham, Northants, NN14 1HP. Tel: 01536 726113 Email; birds@safewings.wanadoo.co.uk