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Ice lollies and frozen trout: How Spain’s zoo animals are keeping cool during heatwave

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AS temperatures soar above 40ºC across Spain as a heatwave intensifies, zoos and wildlife parks are working hard to keep their animals cool.

That means frozen treats, cold showers and splashing about in pools.

Zoo animals across Spain are being served frozen lollies to lower their body temperature as Spain sizzles, made from ingredients adapted to suit their diet.

Herbivores are treated to ice pops made from fresh fruit and vegetables, juices and seeds and nuts.

Pandas seem to particularly partial to watermelon.

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One of Madrid’s panda’s nibbling on watermeon. Photo: Madrid zoo

While others, such as these otters in Madrid, are treated to some frozen fish.

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Otter enjoying some frozen trout. Photo: Madrid zoo

Meanwhile carnivores including the big cats are tempted by frozen raw meat.

In Valencia, the great apes entertained themselves catching frozen fruit and iced muesli bars dangling from trees in their enclosure.

Helados Para Los Animales De Bioparc Valencia Agosto 2021 16 Min
Photo: Valencia Bioparc

While hyenas and leopards used their powerful sense of smell to hunt down frozen blocks containing large chunks of raw meat.

The giraffe’s seemed delighted at multi-coloured popsicles specially crafted by their keepers to include frozen layers of crushed strawberries, celery, orange, chard and red cabbage.

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Photo: Valencia Bioparc

Elephants proved deft at combining both activities of slurping giant sorbets while simultaneously taking a dip.

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At Madrid’s zoo, baby elephants took a long soak in the tub to cool off.

“During the intense heatwave, our keepers are working hard so that the animals in their charge can maintain maximum well-being,” explained the Valencia BioParc in a statement. 

“What the different species seem to enjoy the most are seeking out their favourite ice-creams and sorbets which are lovingly prepared using the favourite food of each animal.”

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Photo: Valencia Bioparc

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EXPLAINER: What we know about Spain’s plan to introduce national ID for pets

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SPAIN’S government has unveiled plans for a national ID scheme for domestic animals as part of a far-reaching animal welfare reform bill.

The new animal welfare legislation will act as a sort of bill of rights for animals giving them an elevated status of a ‘sentient being’ above that of a possession, which is the current legal status.

It will see stricter punishments for those guilty of animal abuse and includes strict guidelines on the care of domestic pets, from how many you can keep in your home, to how long they can be left alone.

Part of the legislation currently being reviewed is the need for animals to have a unique ID to be included on a national database that will make it easier to register and identify the animal’s owner.

Ione Belarra, the Minister of Social Rights, whose department is overseeing the new bill, the identification of domestic animals will serve “to guarantee that we are on the right path and have a model where no animal is left helpless in Spain”.

The pet ID will work in conjunction with a microchip that is already compulsory for owners of dogs and cats and will include essential information such as breed, date of birth, details of owner.

But it is unclear how the new ID document will differ from the health certificate booklet already issued by vets to responsible owners in Spain.

This already shows the microchip number plus vaccination records of the animal.

For those who take their pets across borders with the EU, the health booklet can be issued in the form of a pet passport.

It is understood that the new ID for pets system will allow for a record to be kept of any mistreatment suffered by the animal and to make it easier to locate the owner of the animal in cases of abandonment.

It may also include a photo of the animal in the same way that Spain’s National Identity Card has for humans.

The draft bill is set to be discussed by Spain’s Council of Ministers in November before being present for parliamentary debate.

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Lewis Hamilton risks jail for imposing vegan diet on his dog

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Lewis Hamilton risks jail for imposing vegan diet on his dog
Lewis Hamilton risks jail for imposing vegan diet on his dog. Image – Leis Hamilton Instagram

Lewis Hamilton risks jail time for imposing a vegan diet on his dog, Roscoe.

Lewis Hamilton could face jail time for imposing a vegan diet on his English Bulldog, Roscoe.

The seven-time world champion maintains an unconventional pace of life, not just within the parameters of a Formula 1 driver, that affects all aspects from his clothes to dealing with those closest to him.

One of the people he spends the most time with is his dog, Roscoe.

Already a celebrity (he even has his own pass to enter the paddock) on social networks with over 413,000 followers on instagram, this English bulldog accompanies his owner in his daily chores when he is away from the wheel of the Mercedes.

He goes for a run with him, keeps him company while he trains at home, keeps him company… and also maintains the same diet.

Hamilton is a declared vegan and has even opened a chain of hamburgers where nothing of animal origin is served.

Beyond the (brief) business success of this project, he also asks everyone around him to imitate his way of eating, from his personal trainer and advisor Angela Cullen to Roscoe himself.

The association ‘The Blue Cross‘ has accused Hamilton of violating the Animal Welfare Act, in force in the United Kingdom since 2006, by Roscoe’s vegan diet.

The absence of meat in the dog’s diet contravenes these regulations, since the British Veterinary Association has warned of the legal consequences that it can lead to.

“If your personal belief system means that you do not want to eat any animal protein, that’s fine, but that diet is not designed to meet the welfare standards of your pet,” explains Daniella Dos Santos  President of the Association.

In the event of a formal complaint, Hamilton will have to go to trial where he would face a fine of £20,000 pounds and even a jail term of up to 51 weeks, in addition to having custody of the animal removed for possible abuse.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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UK Government is risking lower animal welfare standards on imports

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UK Government is risking lower animal welfare standards on imports
UK Government is risking lower animal welfare standards on imports. credit: Pixabay

The UK Government is risking lower animal welfare standards on imports by not having any specialist animal welfare representation.

The UK Government is risking lower animal welfare standards on imports by not having any specialist animal welfare representation, the RSPCA says.

This is heightened by the Government’s response to the Trade and Agriculture Commission report which reiterated its commitment to upholding animal welfare standards, but ruled out ensuring imports met with UK animal standards.

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RSPCA Chief Executive Chris Sherwood said: “Although the Government has committed to maintaining welfare standards in international trade deals, the lack of a specific animal welfare representative on the Trade & Agriculture Commission sounds alarm bells.”

“The Government has failed to rule out imports of products to lower welfare standards and we have already seen when it comes to the trade-off between protecting welfare and signing a trade deal, it is welfare that misses out.”

“We fear the lack of a vet or animal welfare expert on the TAC shows the direction the Government wishes to take. Stating great commitments to animal welfare is good, but we fear there will be a rush to the bottom in trade agreements, as shown in the Australian deal.”

“In particular, the government’s response on tariffs is very weak and there was nothing to ensure that imports are produced to the same standards or higher than the UK when making deals.”

“Worryingly, it cites the Australia deal as a good example of an FTA, trumpeting ‘groundbreaking animal welfare commitments’ but, in reality, the proposed Australia deal sets a very low bar, leaving the door open to lower welfare imports.”

“The Government must ensure its commitment to welfare goes beyond just words and that the impact on welfare is given proper consideration when making international trade deals.”

The animal charity said that the Australian deal, agreed earlier this year, was far from the model agreement the Government claimed it to be.

Although the agreement in principle for a deal with New Zealand, announced on 21 October, is an improvement on the Australian FTA, it may signal to others that the UK is willing to sign away their higher welfare standards.

Chris added: “The trade deal with New Zealand is an improvement to the one agreed with Australia. It contains good language on animal welfare but this is expected as in many instances, New Zealand has the same or higher welfare standards than the UK.”

“We are still concerned to see that the Government has once again failed to insist that any food imports are of an equivalent or higher welfare standard than our own. Failing to draw this line in the sand sends a message to other countries that we are willing to accept cheaper, lower standard imports for the sake of a deal.”

“We welcome free trade deals but we want to see them as an opportunity to export our high welfare standards around the world, not as a back door route to undermine protections for animals and farmers here in the UK,” Chris said.

“Promises from the Government are not enough – we need to see this happening in practice. As the rest of the world waits in the wings to trade with us, we need to send a clear message that we will not sell out our standards or our farmers for a quick deal.”


Thank you for taking the time to read this article, do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

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