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Welsh pet food company is set to feed thousands of rescue animals in 2020

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Leading pet food company Burns Pet Nutrition is set to improve the health and wellbeing of rescue animals in Wales by providing pet food and donations to animal charities across the country.

The family-run firm based in Kidwelly, which already regularly donates its specialist line of natural pet food to over 40 rescue centres across the UK, has announced that it will this year offer vital support to Bedlington Terrier Rescue Foundation, as part of its ongoing Charity of the Year programme.

The Carmarthenshire-based charity, which cares for and rehomes Bedlington Terriers and their crosses, has been selected by Burns as one of its two charities of the year, joining West Cork Animal Welfare, and will receive a year’s worth of financial assistance and food amounting to over £50k in value.

The charities were chosen following an application and interview process. The collaboration marks the fifth consecutive year that Burns has run its Charity of the Year programme as part of an ongoing initiative to give back to charity.

Business Owner and Veterinary Surgeon, John Burns commented: “We are in a very fortunate position that, as a company, we are able to support causes in the community as well as deserving charities. I have decided that Burns should be a force for good.”

In 1976 Bedlington Terrier Rescue Foundation was founded by Barbara Butcher MBE and Phyllis Cooper. The foundation was established to rescue and rehome Bedlington Terriers and their cross breeds throughout the UK.

In the coming year Burns Pet Nutrition will be supporting Bedlington Terrier Rescue Foundation by providing funding to finance their innovative foster carer Training Scheme. The foundation does not house their rescues in kennels but ensures that each rescued dog is homed with a foster carer until a forever home is found. The new training scheme will provide foster carers the opportunity to work with appointed behaviourists to prepare the fostered dogs for life in their new home.

Frances Fuller, Director of Bedlington Terrier Rescue Foundation said “We’re really happy to be working again with Burns on this exciting project. They helped us celebrate our 40th anniversary at Discover Dogs 2016. It’s great that they are as enthusiastic for our training scheme as we are and we’re looking forward to now making this happen thanks to their generous support.”

Founded in May 1999, West Cork Animal Welfare was established to help unwanted, abandoned, neglected and abused animals in West Cork. In 2020 Burns Pet Nutrition will be helping them to continue their work by providing a monetary donation to help towards purchasing much needed items for the rescue centre.

Jennifer Headlam from West Cork Animal Welfare said, “We are absolutely delighted and thankful, for all the dogs, cats and kittens in our care, to have been chosen as the Burns Charity of the Year. We all know what incredible quality Burns food is and the benefits it will give the animals in our care, from tiny pups and kittens to older frail dogs. It is a massive boost to the West Cork Animal Welfare Group team and an honour to be the winners.”

In addition to its Charity of the Year Programme, Burns runs a number of grassroots projects including The Better Tomorrow Programme, which aims to engage and help young people to develop valuable life skills, and The Burns by Your Side reading to dogs programme, designed to help children struggling with literacy and communication. The company takes a proactive approach to giving back and has 8 full-time members of staff working in its community department.

Burns was founded in 1993 on the principle that feeding pets a healthy, natural diet is key to helping them thrive. Today, John Burns wants to use the success of the business as a vehicle for positive change. He is calling on companies of all sizes to support and engage with their local communities and charitable organisations as much as possible, stressing that it’s integral to maintaining and securing customer trust.

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Kidwelly Tea Dance Club donate £500 to Breast Care Unit Prince Philip Hospital

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A big thank you to Kidwelly Tea Dance Club for raising funds for the Breast Care Unit at Prince Philip Hospital.

Sandra Griffiths, Club Secretary said, “We all know someone who has undergone treatment for breast cancer and we would like to support this wonderful service at Prince Philip hospital. We raise funds by selling raffle tickets at our tea dances, which are held every fortnight at the Princess Gwenllian Centre. Everyone is welcome to join us, even if you don’t like dancing, it’s an opportunity to meet socially in a friendly atmosphere.”

Claire Rumble, Carmarthenshire Fundraising Officer said “Thank you for inviting me to your tea dance and presenting the £500 donation, it really will make a difference to our local Breast Care Unit – thank you and keep dancing!”

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First dog breeder signs up to Buy With Confidence scheme

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council has become the first in the UK to bring a dog breeder on to the national Buy With Confidence Scheme.

Knocking Stone Kennels, of Mynydd Y Garreg, has signed up to the scheme, which provides consumers with a list of local businesses that have given their commitment to trading responsibly and fairly.

Every business the council signs up undergoes a rigorous vetting process before being approved as a member of the scheme.

Becoming a member allows the business to display the Trading Standards Approved Badge, and provides their customers with additional reassurance that they are buying or commissioning services from a responsible trader.

Carmarthenshire County Council has a strong and proactive approach to enforcing dog breeding standards.

Bringing responsible breeders on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme allows the council to further strengthen the standards it expects from breeders.

The council’s executive board member for public protection, Cllr Philip Hughes said: “This scheme helps protect customers from rogue traders and illegitimate businesses. It also gives them peace of mind about the products and services they are purchasing.

“Our animal health team proactively enforces dog breeding standards in Carmarthenshire and are constantly striving to improve conditions in this industry. Bringing breeders on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme is another way of encouraging licensed breeders to be responsible, and is in addition to the process of vetting and inspections with standard licensing.

“We have worked closely with Knocking Stone Kennels to bring them on board with this scheme, and hope that they will be the first of many.”

Knocking Stone Kennels has been established for 50 years, specialising in Yorkshire Terriers and other toy breeds.

Owner, Linda Baxter said: “We are delighted to become a member of the Trading Standards Buy with Confidence Scheme and to be approved and accepted as the very first dog breeder on the scheme in Carmarthenshire, Wales and UK. A big thank you to the council’s animal welfare team for their help and guidance through the process and to Trading Standards for entrusting us on the scheme.”

Carmarthenshire County Council licenses over 80 dog breeders across the county, allowing them to enforce standards and carry out regular inspections.

The council employs a qualified vet to complete inspections and dedicated investigation officers proactively monitor selling sites and visit premises to pursue action.

Over the last year, the council has prosecuted four breeders, confiscating over £275,000 by means of Proceeds of Crime which has been reinvested into the pursuit of illegal activity and substandard licensed conditions.

It is now working to encourage other breeders to come on board with the Buy With Confidence scheme to provide added reassurance to their customers.

Anyone who would like further information about joining the scheme, or who is looking for a registered trader, can visit www.buywithconfidence.gov.uk

Lee Waters MS and Cllr Tina Higgins have backed a commitment by the Welsh Labour Government to improve welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises in Wales.

Welsh Labour’s Minister for the Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths has said she will act immediately to strengthen how the law is applied across Wales.

And she has re-confirmed the Welsh Government will take forward Lucy’s Law and ban third party puppy and kitten sales.

It comes as a review of the existing laws by the Wales Animal Health and Welfare Framework Group, called for greater consistency in the inspection and enforcement of breeding regulations and a review of the licensing process, including application of a staff to adult dog ratio appropriate to the breeding premises. These actions can quickly improve the welfare of dogs in Wales. The Group also recognised the need for better welfare standards for all breeding dogs in Wales rather than only those at licensed premises.

All of these changes can be implemented straight away, and should improve animal welfare quickly. A bill to ban third party puppy and kitten sales will be introduced to implement Lucy’s Law.

Last year, Councillor Tina Higgins successfully brought a motion to the full Carmarthenshire County Council calling on the council to support Lucy’s Law, a national campaign calling for a ban on puppies being sold by dealers and other third parties. The motion was successfully carried, and Cllr Higgins has led the campaign for better animal welfare standards in Carmarthenshire.

Lee Waters MS said:

“I welcome the commitment made by the Welsh Labour Government to drive up the welfare standards for dogs at breeding premises – it’s something I have long campaigned for.

“We all want to see the highest welfare standards for animals in Wales. So it’s good news some of the recommendations can be delivered through existing legislation and enacted quickly.

“The combination of new regulations on pet sales and dedicated funding for enforcement and delivery of the breeding regulations will result in lasting improvements to the welfare standards of puppies bred in Wales.”

Cllr Tina Higgins said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that the Welsh Government have taken action to strengthen and implement Lucy’s Law here in Wales, and drive up standards for all dogs being used for breeding.

“We can learn from elsewhere and help make sure that Wales has the best animal welfare standards in the UK.”

“I’ll be making sure Carmarthenshire Council is ready to use its powers to protect animals being bred here.”

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Council to consider new regional relationship for school improvement

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Executive Board will meet next week to discuss the authority’s future as part of the regional school improvement consortium ERW (Educational Regional Workforce).

The council, along with authorities in Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Powys and Swansea, has been a part of the consortium since it was established in 2014.

However, the Executive Board could decide to withdraw from the consortium to support a new arrangement for school improvement services based on the footprint of the Swansea Bay Region.

Neath Port Talbot Council has already served notice to withdraw.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, has recognised the many positive achievements of the consortium in recent years, but said it was right to discuss what was best for Carmarthenshire going forward.

“ERW has achieved many positive things, however it is fair to say that it has also navigated through some difficult times with changes in political and managerial leadership,” he said. “The large geographical area of the ERW footprint has added to these challenges.

“We truly value working with our neighbours, but it is timely to review the regional arrangements and potentially look to realign with other partnerships across the Swansea Bay City Region which could have bigger benefits for Carmarthenshire’s children and young people.”

The Executive Board will meet on March 16 (2020) to review the authority’s position, but has promised to work with partners to ensure a seamless and robust transition should members decide to withdraw.

Cllr Glynog Davies, the council’s Executive Board Member for education and children’s services, added: “We are committed to working in partnership and across local authority boundaries where this delivers benefits for our communities.

“It’s right to acknowledge the significant progress of ERW over the last 12 months, in terms of staffing and organisation, but we must be confident that we are providing the very best support for our schools and it’s timely to look at how this can best be achieved.”

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