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You couldn't make it up!

First hand experiences from Newshound, our undercover retailer. Share your own retail views and experiences.


Small stowaway has ear of Mandela
Sculptors have been ordered to remove a bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of a nine-metre-tall statue honouring Nelson Madela.
The South African government said it wanted to ‘restore dignity back to the statue’ , which was unveiled after the former president’s death.
The sculptors are said to have secretly placed the rabbit – their trademark signature – in the statue’s right ear.

Crunchie bars
Inmates of a British prison are supplementing meals with cockroach kebabs after being inspired by I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here.
Prisoners at HMP Liverpool are swapping recipes on how best to cook the bugs after watching bushtucker trials on the reality TV show.
The 1,183-capacity jail is notorious for its cockroach infestations.
Neil Harrison-Scott, 43, in a letter to the Inside Time newspaper for prisoners, said he was encouraged to try the ‘snack’ after watching the ITV show.

What’s next? Four whale drive
A design lab in the Netherlands has created what it claims is the first self-driving car for fish in an ‘attempt to liberate fish all over the world’.
Studio Diip’s Fish on Wheels prototype looks like a miniature fish tank mounted on the bottom half of a remote-controlled car. A webcam looks down on the tank and monitors which direction the fish is swimming in, converting this into instructions to steer the device.
“Up until now driving vehicles has been limited to mankind only (excluding a handful of autonomous vehicles driven by computers),” says Studio Diip on its website, “but now your pet fish can also put the pedal to the metal.”
The team behind the project is mainly interested in designing ‘intelligent imaging products’ and created the device in order to showcase its skills, using just a standard webcam, an Arduino micro-computer and a battery-powered motor.

Jump to it, council told
A council’s call centre was given a shock after a man rang to say he was being ‘harassed’…by a frog!
The amphibian was apparently hassling him at the bottom of his stairs. But, instead of dealing with the four-legged creature himself, his first port of call was Crawley Borough Council.
“We advised him it would probably hop off on its own, but he was adamant the frog was harassing him,” a spokesman said.

Doting dog owners splash £10k a year on their pampered pooches
Celebrity owners who give their pugs facelifts
Animal lover tells of horrifying moment he found bin bag full of cats’ heads
Meet Labradoodle Barney, West End’s biggest new star
Skipton shop holds fundraising day for hearing dogs charity

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Get the snuggle factor with a pbwnews prize pack
PetLife has launched new designs of the original non-slip Vetbed – and to celebrate is giving away two fabulous prize packages to pbwnews readers.

PetLife Giveaway

Puppy farming debate ‘misdirected at pet shops’

The Pet Charity has hit out at campaigners who have ‘skewed’ the puppy farming debate to be ‘anti-pet shops’ in the run-up to a Parliamentary debate on Thursday.

PetQuip names its award finalists

A 60% increase in entrants for the PetQuip Industry Awards in 2014 reflects the vibrancy of the UK pet product sector, the organisers say.

Man drank live guppy cocktail

A man has been fined £818 after he downed a birthday pint containing lager, tomato ketchup, Worcestershire sauce – and two guppies.

Pets at Home and RSPCA launch education website

Pets at Home and the RSPCA have launched a website to help educate the next generation of pet owners on the importance of animal welfare.

Trixie puts the fun and games into feeding time

Trixie has brought out a battery-powered Memory Trainer, which it describes as ‘a challenging game for dogs of all ages’.

Nominations open for equine feed helpline award

The hunt is on to find the Haygain Nutritional Helpline of the Year, with businesses and their customers invited to nominate a feed helpline they think worthy of this national award.

Owners rely on foodbanks to feed pets

Poverty has apparently reached such levels that pet owners are now visiting foodbanks, according to the Lancashire Telegraph.

Are you missing a 5ft corn snake?

The search is on for the owner of a sneaky snake that slipped out of its home and was found in Herne Bay, Kent.

Scottish BARF company launches Starter Boxes

West Fife Raw Feeds has launched a range of starter boxes to promote the BARF diet and help introduce raw feeding to pet owners who may not have considered it before.

Pet beds now among fastest-growing sectors in US

American veterinary care company VCA’s acquisition of boarding business Camp Bow Wow and online pet care site’s buyout of Sleepover Rover highlight growing competition and consumer spending in the US pet care industry, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Two win weekend with top equestrian trainer

Two competition winners spent a weekend with international equestrian trainer Mary Wanless, courtesy of intestinal hygiene control company Verm-X.

New reptile shop opens in West Sussex

A reptile shop has opened in Horsham, West Sussex, offering a range of lizards and snakes and specialist advice to pet owners.

Tired of wet dogs after walks?

Scruffs has introduced the Noodle Mat, designed to help dogs dry off after a walk.

New vet guidelines advise on emergency treatment

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has published new guidance on the legal and professional responsibilities of vets and the legal responsibilities of animal owners concerning the emergency treatment of animals.

Manufacturer unveils autumn look for active dogs

Ruffwear has unveiled new and improved lines for autumn/winter, including a redesign of the K-9 Overcoat, Bark’n Boot Liners, Quick Draw Leash, and The Beacon.

Kennel Club scheme includes electric collars’ ban

The Kennel Club Accredited Instructor Scheme has officially changed the wording of its Code of Practice to include a ban on using electric collars or other ‘aversive methods to ensure the safety of dogs across the UK’.

Equine charity organises WW1 riding tour

Britain’s largest rescue and rehoming horse charity, World Horse Welfare, has organised a bespoke tour to commemorate the centenary of the start of the First World War and the debt owed to horses.

Pet shop hosts fundraiser

A Yorkshire pet shop and grooming salon held a fundraising afternoon to raise money for charity.

Mars boosts £4.5 million festive treats market

Mars Petcare is unveiling two new products and bringing back some festive favourites for this Christmas in a category that was worth more than £4.5 million at retail last year.

New research could help breeding guidelines

New research has identified two significant risk factors associated with painful neurological diseases in the skull shape of the cavalier King Charles spaniel, according to a student at Bristol University.

Fancy a feline-themed cupcake?

Cat-lovers and baking enthusiasts are being asked to show off their creative talents by taking part in Cats Protection’s cupcake competition.

US bio-tech start-ups focus on pets

More and more biotech start-up businesses in the US are working on treatments for domestic pets, as corporate giants largely focus on livestock.

Saddlery manufacturer adds coloured grip reins

Kate Negus Saddlery has extended its bespoke range to include Coloured Rubber Grip Reins, which are available in the rider’s preferred leather colour, grip colour, length and fastening type.

Portsmouth charity wins a cool treat

Hampshire-based Billy+Margot has set tails wagging at Portsmouth Stray Dog Service after delivering dog treats and food to it as winner of the company’s national golden ticket competition.

New standards developed for dog trainers and behaviourists

The UK’s Sector Skills Council has joined with the Kennel Club in a bid to protect the well-being of millions of dogs across the UK through the development of standards specifically designed to ensure consistency and professionalism among those working in the canine sector.

Synthetic colouring agent approved for fish food

The Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) has found that synthetic astaxanthin is safe for salmonids and ornamental fish up to 100 mg/kg complete diet.

Eheim brings out aquarium app

Eheim has launched an Aquarium App with tools including water analysis, a volume calculator and a reminder centre which can, for instance, send alerts when it is time to change water.

Tropical fish trader pleads guilty to benefits fraud

A fish trader has admitted cheating the taxpayer out of more than £22,000 by fraudulently claiming benefits.

New Era Aquaculture’s sales up 40%

New Era Aquaculture says it annual sales are growing at 40% per year, with overseas sales representing more than 40% of turnover. The company recently celebrated its tenth birthday at Interzoo with its worldwide distributors.

Koi take over Bangkok shopping centre

An abandoned shopping centre in Bangkok, Thailand, has turned into a massive aquarium filled with thousands of fish, reports New York Daily News.

Tropical fish migration affects ecosystems

The migration of tropical fish, caused by ocean warming attributed to climate change, is having a harmful impact on marine ecosystems, a study has found.

Man fined for neknominate goldfish challenge

A man bought a pair of goldfish with the ‘sole intention of drinking them’ as part of a viral internet craze, a court has heard.

Tetra re-launches TetraMin Menu

Tetra has relaunched its tropical flake food TetraMin Menu. The ornamental fish food is now separated into four chambers, each housing flakes containing various vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Hikari launches turtle sticks

Hikari has launched a probiotic enhanced nutrient mix for turtles in the Saki-Hikari brand.

Maidenhead Aquatics branch moves to new home

A Maidenhead Aquatics outlet that was forced to move into temporary premises after a fire has moved into its new home.

JBL brings out CO2 injector

JBL has launched the JBL ProFlora m001 duo pressure reducer, for hobbyists who want to inject CO2 into two tanks.

New way to create waves in tanks

Zoo Med Labs has launched the Aquasweep Rotating Filter Attachment.

Anabantoid association issues caresheet

The Anabantoid Association of Great Britain has issued a Betta caresheet with husbandry guidelines.

Hikari launches 500g pack of Saki-Hikari Growth diet

Hikari has launched a new 500g pack size of its Saki-Hikari Growth Koi diet.

Superfish launches PondECO Plus E pumps

Superfish has launched a range of electronic filter pumps for Koi and fish ponds.

Romsey World Of Water gears up for Koi show

Romsey World Of Water will host the ZNA South of England Koi Show over the weekend of August 9-10.

Aquatic business founder dies in fire

Graham Cox, founder of Waterlife Research, has died in a fire at his Dorset home. Up to 40 firefighters battled the flames for several hours, but could not save Graham, 77, who was still a director of the company.

JBL brings out summer food for Koi

JBL’s Reseach and Development Department has developed a Koi Summer floating premium food.

Fish fossil could be ancestor to all vertebrates

A 500-million-year-old preserved, soft-bodied fish could be the ancestor of almost all living vertebrates, reports NBC News.

Eheim launches into food and treatments

Eheim has for the first time launched into food, water and plant care products, unveiling its new range at Germany’s Interzoo.

Fishkeeper Inverness celebrates first year

Fishkeeper Scotland by Maidenhead Aquatics has celebrated the first anniversary of its Inverness store with a weekend of activities, giveaways, competitions, prizes and special offers as well as a raffle in aid of charity.

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