Ensuring Animal Safety During Lockdown: Identifying, Preventing and Protecting Animals in Distress
Thursday, November 12th 2020
Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Minister for Food, Farming and Rural Affairs
David Bowles, Head Public Affairs at the RSPCA
Sarah Dixon, Director at Finn’s Law
Paula Sparks, Chairperson of the UK Centre for Animal Law (A-law)
David Martin, Animal Welfare Lead for IVC Evidensia; and a Veterinary Surgeon and Expert Witness
Between the start of lockdown and August this year, the RSPCA has dealt with over 100,000 incidents and responded to over 400,000 calls nationwide. There is also reason to believe that these numbers are only the tip of the iceberg as lockdown has meant people are less likely to see or report animal abuse. With the growing financial troubles, especially as furlough comes to an end, there are concerns pets could be abandoned as households struggle to pay the bills. Likewise, as routine operations like neutering remain on hold, there’s likely to be an influx in unwanted litters. For charities like the RSPCA, animal abuse isn’t the only concern stemming from Covid-19. With an increase in isolation and financial troubles, issues concerning animal cruelty are likely to increase as well.
Recognising, both the long-term issues and the heightened need for action following the pandemic, Chris Loder MP introduced the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill in the House. The Bill will enable tougher prison sentences for the most serious perpetrators of animal cruelty, from the current maximum of six months to up to five years. The government says that this increase in sentencing will send a clear message that animal abuse will not be tolerated. The maximum five-year sentence will become one of the toughest punishments in Europe, and strengthen the UK’s position as a global leader on animal welfare and help provide a greater deterrent for cases such as dog fighting, abuse of puppies and kittens, or gross neglect of farm animals. This bill also has substantial popular support with a public consultation finding 70% of people supported the proposals for tougher prison sentences.
Another of aspect of animal welfare that seems to have been magnified recently is the incidence of animals imported to the UK from eastern Europe to meet the surging demand for pets in lockdown. Commercial import licences given to foreign breeders by the government this summer soared to 12,000 from 5,000 over the same period last year. And while up to 150 dogs can be imported to the UK on one licence it is feared that breeders sometimes exceed that quota and that the conditions the animals are exposed to amounts to abuse. Reports suggest that some puppies are separated too early from their mothers, that the mothers are put through arduous journeys while heavily pregnant, and often mistreated. A new law in England bans the third party of sale of dogs and requires owners to see the puppy at home with its mum. But the rule does not apply to breeders registered abroad.
Separately, approximately 2.6 million cattle, 10 million pigs, 14.5 million sheep and lambs, 80 million fish and 950 million birds are slaughtered in the UK for human consumption. With such enormous levels of production, there is concern over animal welfare standards particularly at the time of slaughter. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 1.35m chickens died during transport to abattoirs or while waiting for slaughter. In addition, 21,500 ducks, geese and turkeys also died on arrival. A Food Standards Agency survey for England and Wales also estimated that 184 million poultry and 21,000 cattle were slaughtered without an effective stun in 2017.
This timely symposium, organised in light of the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill and the ending of the furlough scheme, will bring together local authorities, animal welfare organisations, police forces, veterinary professionals and representatives charities to reflect on the biggest challenges, possible solutions and new opportunities in order to create a stronger animal welfare system.
To register for the briefing, please click here.
Please feel free to circulate this information on to any relevant colleagues.
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The 2019 AGM was held at Woking Football Club on Thursday 25th April.
The day started with the Trainers/Handlers Forum and following an update by the Secretary on changes to the current British Standards, the new HABC Accredited qualification structure and the introduction of the National Canine Training & Accreditation Scheme (NCTAS). Discussion took place regarding a number of subjects including insurance, annual inoculation’s, regulated qualifications, as well as the new structure for Trainer Assessment/Approval. Finally the meeting was informed that there would be no Annual Trials this year, hopefully returning back in 2020.
The meeting broke for lunch during which Members had a chance to network and meet other Members and Committee Members as well as visit the trade stands of BJP Insurance and Gradko, both of whom were supporting the event.
Following lunch the formal part of the AGM commenced with the Chairman’s Report and Secretary’s Report both of which you can see below. Having received both these reports as well as the Membership and Financial Report, the election of the Committee was undertaken and from 12 nominations the following 9 members were elected to the NASDU Management Committee for the coming 12 months.
1. Andy Davies
2. Lee Deighton
3. Roger Flett
4. Steve Hill
5. Simon Mallin
6. George Middlemiss
7. Ali Tod
8. Steve Tully
9. Trevor (Bambi) Wilding
In addition to the above the following were co-opted onto the NASDU Inspectorate:
10. Mark Anley
11. Nigel Edwards
Having concluded the business of the AGM and having no further business the meeting was closed and Members wished a safe journey home.
Welcome to the 23rd AGM of the National Association of Security Dog Users (NASDU). Those of you that were present 23 years ago at Surrey Police Headquarters, Mount Browne for the official opening of NASDU would have heard our Patron Bruce George MP set out the following aims for our Association:
“To achieve, promote and maintain national standards for all Trainers, Handlers and Dogs
used within the security industry and for those who are concerned with the care,
health, safety and welfare of dogs within the security industry”
As a founder member of NASDU and now its Chairman, a position I have held since 2014, I am extremely proud that the name of NASDU has become synonymous with standards, not just in its achievement in the adoption of the original NASDU Code of Practice as being the basis for BS 8517 the Code of Practice for the deployment of both General Purpose and Detection Dogs, but in its continued efforts to promote and maintain national standards as NASDU remains an active Member of the British Standards Institute (BSI) Defence and Security Committee GW3. Not only is GW3 responsible for national standards work in the form of revision and development of British Standards but is involved in both European and international standards activities.
As I reported last year, 2017 saw the introduction of a new suite of security dog handling qualifications, these qualifications saw the introduction of a new pathway structure which on the number of new registrations in 2018 has obviously gone down well within our sector, not content with the above changes, 2018 also saw the move in our qualifications from endorsed to accredited a change supported by OFQUAL and our Awarding Body Highfield (HABC).
Moving away from standards, NASDU has become the UK’s foremost Membership Association for the private dog sector representing not just its Members but the interests of the whole of the private security dog sector. This is reflected in the work our Secretary has been doing with National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters and the Home Office over the past 2 years regarding the role out of the NCTAS scheme which will shortly be available to the private sector as a voluntary scheme.
NASDU continues to go from strength to strength not only has it grown in size with Members spread across the UK, Europe and internationally as you will hear in the Membership Report but it has grown in standing as you will hear in the Secretary’s Report, also you will hear in the Financial Report that NASDU is financially sound a pleasing thought in these times of austerity.
As I close, I would like to thank our sponsors and in particular Harvey Sharptsone of OMNI, Veera Gopal of Schutzhund K9 Dog Food sponsors of last year’s Trials and Phil Bowyer of Crown Canine who continues as a corporate sponsor.
I would also like to say a big thank you to our two Trade Exhibitors here today, Steve Neudegg and his team from BJP Insurance and Dr Vanessa Kelli and her team from Gradko Forensics, both have supported NASDU over the years not just at our AGM’s and Trials but throughout the years with their services to our Members.
Finally I thank you the Members who without you we would not have an Association, remember NASDU is a not for profit organisation and whilst it is run by its Members for the benefit of its Members you can see that NASDU works for the whole of the UK private security dog sector, again something we all should be immensely proud of.
I cannot finish with mentioning Head Office and Steve and Dianne for their tireless hard work, I genuinely believe NASDU would not be here today or have the prestige it holds within our industry without these two individuals and on behalf of the membership I thank you both.
Each year it makes me extremely proud of what we as an Association have achieved over the past 12 months and my sincere thanks go to all those who have made it possible especially the current Committee. Each Member over the past year has put themselves out, whether it was attending British Standard Review meetings, NCTP HQ meetings or representing NASDU at Apprenticeship Trailblazer Meetings, developing and demonstrating the Scent ID Test procedures, organising our Trials, or just attending regular Committee Meetings, I personally thank you all for your assistance and loyal support.
Whilst NASDU has achieved and surpassed what it set out to do some years ago the work continues for which the past year has again been very demanding for Dianne and myself at Head Office:
As you are aware in 2015 NASDU was notified by our preferred awarding organisation HABC who endorse and certificate NASDU training programmes that due to regulatory updates being imposed on them by the Regulatory Authority OFQUAL that changes to the framework of our qualifications and how HABC endorse these would have to change. These changes were finally implemented in June 2017, having started with the Level 2 GP in December 2016 followed by the Level 3 & 4 Detection qualifications in June 2017.
As can be seen from the above it has taken some time to get everything in place, and during 2018 the team at Head Office have been committed to support these new qualifications which have become the benchmark for security dog handling in the UK and overseas.
Whilst these new qualifications with their various pathways were originally developed as “Endorsed Qualifications” the end of 2018 saw another major change with a move to “Accredited Qualifications” a move instigated by our awarding organisation Highfield (HABC) and supported by OFQUAL.
Currently NASDU is in discussion with HABC looking at the possibility of our qualifications being regulated which means they could also be listed on the RQF. This would only happen if NASDU feels that it would be a benefit to the private security dog sector otherwise we will remain with our current accredited qualifications.
Group 1 – Security Dogs (BS Part 1)
• Level 2 Award for a Security Dog Handler
• General Purpose Security Dog
• General Purpose Security/Tracking Dog
• Patrol Dog Handler (Only)
• Level 3 Certificate for a Security Dog Handler
• General Purpose Security Dog
Group 2 – Detection Dogs (BS Part 2)
• Level 3 Certificate for a Detection Dog Handler
• Passive Drug Detection Dog
• Proactive Drug Detection Dog
• Pyrotechnic Detection Dog
• Live Person (Vehicle) Detection Dog
(BS Part 3)
• Live Person (Air Scent) Detection Dog
• Live Person (Tracking) Detection Dog
• Victim (Cadaver) Detection Dog
• Victim (water Submerged Cadaver) Detection Dog
• Fire Investigation Detection Dog
• Tobacco Detection Dog
• Bedbug Detection Dog
• Level 4 Certificate for a Detection Dog Handler (BS Part 2)
• Explosive Detection Dog
• Explosive (Vehicle Search Only) Detection Dog
• Explosive (Building/Cargo Search Only) Detection Dog
• Explosive (Hostile Environment) Detection Dog
To support the new suite of Detection Dog qualifications NASDU has produced a “Core Skills Manual for a Detection Dog Handler”, this manual is a generic manual for all types of Detection Dogs.
BS 8517 Part 1 & 2
One of NASDU’s biggest achievements over the past 20 years was the adoption of its own Code of Practice for the Deployment of Security Dogs, being adopted by the British Standards Institute (BSI) as the basis of the first ever British Standard for Security Dogs (BS 8517) in 2009/2010.
As most of you will now know the 5 year review of BS 8517 was completed with its publication in September 2016 and officially launched by BSI at the Harlequins RFC Ground at Twickenham in October.
These standards which are in two parts, Part 1 for GP Dogs and Part 2 for Detection Dogs have now become adopted within the UK private security industry as the benchmark for the deployment of security dogs as well as the basis for handler training and Company inspections.
It should be noted that whilst written as a British Standard it has been confirmed by BSI that they may be adopted as a standard of best practice both in Europe and internationally.
BS 8517 Part 3 Non-Security Detection/Search Dogs
During the review of BS 8517 Part 2 for Detection Dogs it was established there were several other Detection Dog disciplines that were not covered by the scope of Part 2 i.e. Search & Rescue dogs, Tobacco, Fire etc., it has been agreed at GW3 that we should investigate the possibility of introducing a Part 3 standard which would cover non-security disciplines not covered in the existing Part 2.
NASDU as a Member of GW3 has been co opted as an interested party to a Technical Group who are looking at a standard for Medical Detection Dogs and we await the outcome of the development of this new standard.
Other British Standards
In addition to our security dog standards contained in BS 8517, NASDU as part of the GW3 Committee is also involved in the following national standards work.
National Standards currently under Revision/Development
Static site guarding and mobile patrol service – Code of practice
BS 10800 Provision of security services – Code of practice
BS 7499 Provision of static guarding security services – Code of practice
BS 7984-3 Provision of mobile security services – Code of practice
BS 7858:2012 Security screening of individuals employed in a security environment – Code of practice
BS 8406:2009 Event stewarding and crowd safety – Code of practice
BS 10600 Enforcement services
National Standards Published
BS 102000:2018 Code of practice for the provision of investigative service
BS 7960:2016 Door supervision – Code of practice
BS 8517-1:2016 Security dogs – Code of practice for the use of general purpose security dogs
BS 8517-2:2016 Security dogs – Code of practice for the use of detection dogs
BS 8549:2016 Security consultancy – Code of practice
BS 8484:2016 Provision of lone worker services – Code of Practice
BS 7984-1:2016 Keyholding and response services – General recommendations for keyholding and response services
BS 8584:2015 Vacant property protection services – Code of practice
BS 7958:2015 Closed circuit television (CCTV) Management and operation – Code of practice
BS 16000:2015 Security management. Strategic and operational guidelines
BS 7984-2:2014 Keyholding and response services. Lone worker response services
BS 7872:2011 Manned security services. Cash and valuables in transit services (collection and delivery) – Code of practice
BS 8523:2011 Management and operation of warden schemes – Code of practice
BS 8507-2:2009 Code of practice for close protection services. Services outside the United Kingdom
BS 8507-1:2008 Code of practice for close protection services. Services within the United Kingdom
As can be seen from the above standards under revision BS 7499 has now been split into 3 separate standards, with BS 10800 being the primary standard (parent) and BS 7499 and BS 7984-3 being sector specific standards (child).
BS 10800 which is due to go out for public consultation towards the end of the year will then be the primary standard for all secondary standards acting as an umbrella for all future standards including Security Dogs, Door Supervisors, CCTV, CP etc.
BS 7858 has now completed its review stage and will be out for public consultation shortly.
Finally, BS 8406 Event Stewarding has just started, and BS 10600 Enforcement Services is due to start shortly. NASDU will be represented on both these review panels.
Finally, Members are reminded that as NASDU is an approved BSI stockist/supplier then as Members they are entitled to a 20% discount. Anyone wishing to obtain one of the previously mentioned standards should contact Dianne at Head Office.
As many of you are aware and as reported last year NASDU was one of several organisations that sat on the Animal Care Trailblazer Apprenticeship Steering Group which was hosted by LANTRA and chaired by Simon Johnston from the RSPCA.
Following many months of hard work and much debate two apprenticeship standards have been approved.
• Animal Care & Welfare Assistant Apprenticeship Standard
• Animal Trainer Apprenticeship Standard
Whilst these apprenticeships are not vocational qualifications NASDU fully supports the development of the following apprenticeship standards which shall be employer led.
As can be seen from the above most of the work undertaken at Head Office has been the development and administration of our suite of qualifications along with the maintenance of standards although it does work with several other organisations as follows:
Following several meetings with a representative from the National Counter Terrorism Policing HQ regarding NCTAS, NASDU was invited to attend a meeting at the Home Office regarding EDD in the private sector during 2018.
NASDU’s involvement to date has been to provide information regarding the resilience of EDD Teams within the private sector and to provide details of vocational qualifications available in the private security sector. Whilst the NCTAS scheme will be compulsory rolled out across all government EDD Teams, it will be a voluntary scheme within the private security dog sector.
Currently NASDU sits on the Counter Terrorism Policing Step Change Group with six NASDU Member Companies who deploy EDD Teams. Under an NDA they have been given access to the Explosive Detection Dog Standard Search Module of the National Canine Training & Accreditation Scheme 2019 for the private security industry.
Whilst there are many questions to be answered regarding the introduction of NCTAS within the private sector any Member wishing further information should contact Steve at Head Office.
NASDU continues its dialogue and involvement with the SIA and has responded to several information requests and has in the past provided guidance and awareness to its industry assessors and investigators. It should also be noted that both NASDU and the SIA sit on most of the British Standard Review Panels and are both Members of the GW3 Committee at the BSI.
NASDU continues to work with SFS on the future development and review of several National Occupational Standards (NOS).
NASDU continues to work with the UKAS Approved Body NSI under an agreement that all NSI Companies achieving BS 8517 approval will be entitled to be listed on NASDU’s website and certificated as a NASDU Inspected Company, this agreement is in recognition of the thoroughness and rigour of the NSI BS 8517 approval process and is as a result of discussions between NASDU and Neil Ohren an assessor who also sat on the reviews of BS 8517 at BSI Chiswick.
NSI Assessors have also attended a security dog awareness day organised by NASDU. Any Company or organisation approved to BS 8517 by the NSI and not currently a NASDU Associate Company Member, who would like to take up this opportunity, should contact NASDU Head Office.
Alternatively, any NASDU Associate Company Member looking at possible future BS 8517 approval or currently approved by another approval body who would like to take up this opportunity in the future should contact the NSI Business Development Manager on 01628 764842.
NASDU continues to provide help and assistance to those who need specific guidance and information on security dog related issues. Those requiring assistance are not just NASDU Members or Security Dog Handlers/Companies but members of the public, the Police, the SIA, local authorities and many more.
Currently NASDU as an interested party has provided a witness statement in the Court of Appeal to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities & Local Government regarding the need to apply for planning permission (change of use) to kennel/house a security dog at home. As can be seen if introduced this could devastate the entire private security dog sector, with serious long-term consequences for the entire industry.
Formal notification is given that the Annual General Meeting of NASDU will be held on:
THURSDAY 25TH APRIL 2019 AT WOKING FOOTBALL CLUB,
KINGFIELD ROAD, WOKING, GU22 9AA
10:00 FOR A 10:30 START
The day begins with a Trainers/Members/Handlers forum followed by a buffet lunch at 12.30 pm where there will be a chance to meet other Members and Handlers together with Trainers and Committee Members.
Any Member wishing to be considered for election to the new Committee should notify the Secretary, in writing to Head Office no later than Friday 11th April 2019 that date being 14 (working) days prior to the Annual General Meeting. New nominees must submit a brief pen picture with their application. All nominees will require a proposer and seconder, who in turn must be Members of the Association.
All councillors will be democratically elected at the Annual General Meeting by way of voting by those Members present. Voting by proxy shall be disallowed and all nominees should be present at the AGM.
Company Members may send a representative to vote on their behalf. The name of the nominated representative should be forwarded to the Secretary prior to the date of the meeting.
Members are invited to submit any relevant matters for discussion at the Annual General Meeting in writing to the Association Secretary at least 14 days prior to the meeting. No business shall be transacted other than that stated in the notice convening the meeting.
The following has been put forward for NASDU adoption as policy:
1. British Standards update
a. BS 10800 Security Services
b. BS 7499 Static Guarding
c. BS 7984-3 Mobile Patrols
2. Qualification Structure (HABC) update
a. Existing Pathways (updated January 2019)
b. New status for all qualifications – now Accredited
3. National Canine Training & Accreditation Scheme (NCTAS)
a. Implementation and impact on the private sector
b. Development of an EDD NCTAS Module
a. New Policy
5. International Schemes
a. Overseas Affiliate Company Member
b. Overseas Affiliate Trainer
c. Overseas Endorsed Learning Programme Scheme
The following have been put forward for discussion and approval to adopt as policy:
6. Trainers Forum, report previous meeting
a. End Point Assessment
b. Monthly CT requirements
c. 6 monthly Team certification
7. New Approved Trainer Application
a. Assessment/Verification Board
b. Assessment of ALL applications, as well as re-assessment of existing Trainers
a. Business description required on Policy by insurer
9. Veterinary Requirements
a. Annual Inoculations
10. Credit Control
a. Trainers Accounts (no invoicing to learners direct)
b. Order/Payment Form
11. Trials 2019
12. Head Office
Time permitting the floor will be open for:
13. Any further points for discussion (AOB)
1. Minutes of the 2018 Annual General Meeting
2. Apologies for Absence
3. Chairman’s Report
4. Secretary’s Report
5. Membership Report
6. Financial Report
7. Election of Committee
To assist with catering arrangements, we would appreciate an indication of Members and guests attending and ask you to contact Head Office.
Tel: 01483 224320
And let us know if you will be attending the Forum at 10.30 hours followed by lunch and the AGM or just the AGM at 1400 hours.