Easy 3D Models in PowerPoint, Word and Excel

It may have escaped your attention, but it is now possible to insert 3D models into Office documents. The feature is available to Office 365 subscribers and to anyone who has the 2019 or 2021 Desktop versions of MS Office and it allows the easy insertion of 3D models into any PowerPoint, Word, or Excel file.

Key Features of 3D Models

  • 3D objects can be moved and resized in the same way as images, but can also be rotated along 3 different axes using a very simple control.
  • 3D models can be animated within PowerPoint using aminations like Turntable, Swing and Jump & Turn
  • If the same 3D object is used on consecutive slides in PowerPoint and combined with a Morph transition, the object is animated in 3D.

It is very easy to get a 3D model into your Word Document, PowerPoint Presentation or Excel Workbook. On the Ribbon at the top of any of the applications, simply click on the Insert tab and look for the Illustrations group, which is on the left-hand side of the Tab.

Although the Illustrations group is configured slightly differently, in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, this is always where you will find the 3D Model command.

Once the 3D object is inserted, manipulate the built-in tools to allow you to easily rotate, flip, spin, pan, and zoom for ideal placement.

3D Models in PowerPoint

Since you are most likely to use 3D Models in PowerPoint, we will concentrate on that, but inserting and manipulating 3D models in any of the other Office programmes will work in exactly the same way. Just follow the same steps that you would use to insert photos or videos in PowerPoint. Go to Insert → Select 3D Models and from the drop-down menu, choose how you want to insert a 3D file.

If you already have a 3D model that you have created or downloaded, then you can use the This Device option. A number of different 3D file formats can be inserted into PowerPoint slide. Just select the format that your 3D model is in.

Select the format that your 3D model is in.

If you don’t have an existing 3D Model, then you can opt for the Stock 3D Models command, where there are many options of pre-existing models. You can even search for exactly what you want.

Once the 3D model is inserted, rotate the model to the angle that you wish it to appear on the slide. This is done by clicking on the 3D model itself, which will cause a 3D rotation control to appear at the object’s centre, which can then be used to rotate the object as you wish. You can still use the normal rotation handle at the top of the object to rotate your image clockwise or counter-clockwise, but you’ll get a much better experience using the 3D rotation control.

3D Model in Various Views

Any 3D object can be moved, resized and aligned just like a normal picture, shape, icon or any object that is normally inserted into a PowerPoint slide. It isn’t yet possible to edit the 3D models themselves within PowerPoint, but if you have Paint 3D, it can be done with this programme.

When a 3D model is selected a 3D Model contextual tab appears on the Ribbon.

This includes options to reset the model, switch it to set views and arrange it relative to other objects on the slide. There are also controls for sizing the object including Pan and Zoom.

3D objects are very easily inserted into Slides and have multiple uses.

Six Ways That You Can Improve Your Communication Skills

Improving your communication skills is advantageous to you and everyone around you. Good communicators are seen as confident and trustworthy and these skills can help in both your professional and personal life.

Here are 6 ways that you can improve your communication skills:

Listening Effectively:

This is one of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of communication. It is natural to try to think of a response to the other person while they are still talking, but taking time to let them finish and trying to fully understand what they are saying can pay dividends. If you are unsure about something that has been said, ask for clarification, or for the person to repeat their point again.

And when listening, stick to one communication at a time. It’s always tempting when speaking to someone on the phone, to, perhaps, respond to an email at the same time. But it is very likely that you will miss something the other person is saying. Trying to do both things at once may mean that you end up doing neither of them particularly well.

Body language:

This is something that we all are aware of, but which, surprisingly, most of us still don’t think about when we are communicating. A few simple things in this area can make a great deal of difference in our communication with others. Don’t cross your arms, keep eye contact, sit up straight so you look professional and be as open as possible. We don’t have to be body language experts to use it effectively in communication.

Be Concise

In written and verbal communication, try to be as brief and concise as possible, whilst still conveying all the information required. Try not to ramble or go into areas of information that are just not needed.

Maintain a positive attitude and smile:

This one is simple. Smile and be positive. Smile even when speaking on the phone, because the other person will know it. Smile often and exude a positive attitude and people will respond positively to you.

Empathy:

Being able to understand the feelings of those around you is an integral part of being an effective communicator. Empathising means both understanding and relating to someone else’s feelings. Having high emotional intelligence and demonstrating an ability to empathise builds rapport between you and others and increases your ability to communicate.

Practice public speaking:

Public speaking may sound daunting, but there’s no better way to develop good communication skills. Good communicators are able to clearly articulate their feelings, whether speaking to a large group or talking face-to-face with one other person. Speaking in front of a group will highlight your strengths, as well as letting you know those areas that you need to improve on.

Our course in Advanced Communication Skills will show you how to apply advanced verbal and written communication techniques in your workplace.

5 Helpful Tips to Help You Retain Important Information

It’s widely believed that our memories get worse at we get older. However, whilst it is true that the aging process causes changes in our brains that can mean that it takes longer to learn and recall information, we shouldn’t mistake this for true memory loss. It is normal to forget things once in a while as we age. But, however old we are, there are many things we can do it in our day-to-day lives to help keep our brain working at full capacity.

Here are five ways to help keep your memory sharp:

Sleep

Sleep is proven to be one the most important factors in having a good memory. It is during sleep that our brains perform the consolidation processes required to do things such as moving remembered events from short term to long term memory. Lack of sleep may cause issues with retaining new information and even make you struggle to recall information laid down in the past.

Research also suggests that getting a good night’s sleep before learning is also very advantageous, since sleep deprivation can affect our brain’s ability to memorise and consolidate any new information. Remember, before your next class, seminar or training day, try to be well-rested, as it will help you more than you think.

Exercise

Studies in human brains show that regular exercise can improve our memory. Fitness amongst older adults has even been shown to help to slow the decline of memory. Exercise is also helpful with spatial awareness, which will also improve your spatial memory. Spatial memory is the storage and retrieval of information within the brain needed to plan routes and to remember where objects are located.

The health benefits to exercising regularly are well known and documented, but regular exercise is shown to improve other cognitive abilities besides memory, so whilst you’re improving your health and your memory there are many other benefits.

Meditate

Regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn strengthens the network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex. This reinforces our memory capacity. A particular study has indicated that meditating for just 20 minutes a day boosts memory and concentration. Meditation can particularly help working memory, which stores information temporarily for short term use.

Research shows that participants with no experience in meditation can improve their memory recall in just eight weeks. As meditation also helps with concentration, it has been shown to improve test scores.

Test Yourself

Testing yourself can help your ability to retain information, since any re-visiting and repetition of a subject will always help to embed the knowledge. Ask a friend to test you or see if there are any online resources that will check your knowledge

Doing this you can consolidate your knowledge of a topic or area and transfer your learning to long-term memory, which will happen if you continue to actively use the information. As a bonus, it also helps you know what you don’t know and to determine which areas you need to revisit.

Write it down

Writing down new information is a practice that many people use to retain information. This works because writing by hand turns on parts of the brain involved in learning and memory. Taking notes by hand, rather than even using a keyboard, may boost how well new information is retained.

Studies have shown that writing notes by hand is much better for long-term memory of ideas, or conceptual information. This is vindication for all of us who have ever said “I remember it better when I write it down”.

If you need anymore help with work-life balance, Infero has Time Management and Stress Management Courses in these areas.

XLOOKUP – The New Improved VLOOKUP

In Microsoft Excel, everyone has heard of the VLOOKUP function. It is one of the most used functions within Excel and the function that most people want to learn. This is not surprising, because VLOOKUP is extremely useful and can be used in a wide variety of situations. It is capable of very complex data analysis, but can also be used very simply. In essence VLOOKUP does what it says on the tin. It looks things up. So why have Microsoft, effectively, created a replacement for it?

Although VLOOKUP is used by millions of Excel users every day, it is not without faults. In fact, many Excel users use alternative formulas because of this. VLOOKUP has three main issues:

Only Left to Right

VLOOKUP only works from left to right. That is, it can only find a result value in a column to the left of the value that is being used as the look-up value. In the example below, if the Employee IDs were in a column right of the AGEs, it wouldn’t work.

The Column Number Issue

The column with the result required is designated by an index number. This means that if we want VLOOKUP to return data from the 2nd column of our data, we need to type in 2. The problem comes if another column is inserted into our data. Although our VLOOKUP will still have an index number of 2, the value we want to return may not be in the 2nd column anymore. At best, we won’t get the result we expect, at worst the VLOOKUP may stop working altogether.

VLOOKUP Defaults to an Approximate Match

LOOKUP functions in Excel can return an Exact match, meaning that they will only give a result if they can find precisely what we are looking for, or they can return an approximate match, meaning they will return the result nearest to the value we were searching for. Even though 99.9 % of the searches done with VLOOKUP are for an exact match, VLOOKUP default to an approximate match.

XLOOKUP fixes all these issues and more:

Left Lookup

VLOOKUP will not allow a left lookup to be performed. Before XLOOKUP, this could be done by using a combination of INDEX and MATCH functions, but this was quite complicated. Now a left lookup can be completed simply by using the XLOOKUP function.

The XLOOKUP function looks up the age and returns the Employee ID.

Column Number

XLOOKUP allows the returning of a value from a particular column simply by selecting it or typing its range within the formula. A column number need not be specified and so the formula can’t be broken if columns or rows are inserted or deleted.

Exact Match

By default, the XLOOKUP function in Excel 365/2021 performs an exact match, unlike VLOOKUP.

XLOOKUP is only available in Office 2021 and Office 365. VLOOKUP will remain available in Excel, but there are many more benefits in using XLOOKUP, such as being able to return values from above and below, as well as from left and right. To find out more and to learn how to use this new function fully, why not try one of our Excel courses.

How You can Improve Your Presentations Skills With These Simple Steps

Public speaking and presenting are very important skills to master, especially in the workplace. Presentation skills are increasingly important in almost every role. In fact, in surveys of employers, good communication skills, both written and verbal, are seen as two of the top five most desirable attributes of employees.

Here are our guidelines to help you improve your presentation skills:

Confidence

Confidence is one of the most important traits to have whilst presenting. A confident speaker will have an authority that reassures their audience that they know what they are talking about. They are also much more likely to get their message across. However, saying that you should be confident and actually being confident are two different things. Luckily, there are methods that you can use to help to build your confidence:

Preparation: The three most important things that you should do for your presentation are; preparation, preparation and preparation. There is no substitute for taking the time to thoroughly plan, prepare and write your presentation. Preparation will not only make you confident about the material, it will enable to craft a coherent structure for your presentation that will most effectively get your message across. Remember, the more that you prepare, the better that you know your material and the more confident you will be.

Rehearse your Presentation: Once you have written the presentation, rehearsal allows you to see if it actually works. It lets you see if the presentation slides are effective and also if the overall timing is correct. The more you can rehearse the better, especially if you can rehearse in the place where you are going to be delivering the presentation. An added bonus is if you can practice the presentation in front of others. Even practising in front of friends or family can help to build your confidence.

Know your Audience: Being familiar with your audience can greatly help your confidence. If possible, analyse your audience prior to the presentation using research and surveys. If this isn’t possible, you can always take time to talk to and get to know your audience immediately prior to your delivery. This isn’t always easy, but getting to know and understand those that your are delivering to can definitely boost your confidence.

Concise and simple

Another key thing to remember is to keep things simple. We have all been in presentations where the presenter has overwhelmed us with too much information. Another of the benefits of all that rehearsal that we talked about earlier is that it will enable you to spot and remove any unnecessary information.

It almost goes without saying that you should avoid jargon, especially when you are talking to a group of people unfamiliar with your topic. Even when you are talking to peers and experts, keep technical terms to a minimum. If you must use them, spend time so that you are able explain them in simply.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

– Albert Einstein

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm shows that you believe in your content. Enthusiasm is also infectious. If you care about your topic, your audience is liable to, too. It’s important, however, to convey that enthusiasm:

Change your Tone or Emphasis: It is vital that you vary the way you talk during the presentation. Speech is both verbal and vocal. How you say something is just as important as what you say. Emphasis for key words or concepts, pausing, speeding up or slowing down appropriately can all aid you greatly. This is somewhere else where rehearsal can help you greatly.

Speak Up: Vary the volume of your voice and the pitch. Again practice helps with this. You can even use emotion appropriately to convey your passion and enjoyment about the topic.

Research

It is almost redundant to say that you should have the best understanding possible for the topic you are discussing. If you are unsure, then this is likely to show. Knowing a subject well helps with your confidence too.

And don’t forget to prepare by researching potential questions that may come up. Not only will this help you to deal with these issues if they do occur, it is almost certain to improve your own understanding. Once again, you can ask colleagues or friends and family to mock-ask you possible questions to get practice answering them effectively.

Focus on your Audience Needs

Most importantly, you need to remember the prime reason you are doing the presentation in the first place and who it is for. The presentation is for your audience. It is not for you. When working and worrying about it, it is easy to forget this crucial point.

Always remember that it is what audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them, or want to tell them, that is of primary importance. And presentations are two way things, like all communication. As you deliver your presentation, always be focused on your audience’s reaction and respond appropriately to it.

For professional help from our dedicated team have a look at our communication skills courses or presentation courses to help you stand out in the workforce and impress your co-workers.

How You Can Make A Difference In Your Life During National Walking Month

What is national Walk Month?

Ditch your car and carry on past that bus stop because May is National Walking Month. Get fit by walking to work or school and perhaps even raise money by participating in a sponsored walking event.

You can help the British Heart Foundation by getting involved. Or maybe the Children’s Cancer and Leukemia Group, an organisation dedicated to helping detect cancer in children, which holds a number of fundraising events throughout the year to help fund their world-class research and the support they provide to the families involved.

If you wish to get involved in #WalkThisMay, here are some ways you can make a difference:

  • Organise a sponsored walking event at your school, work place, home or in the wider community. Raise money and get health benefits as you do so.
  • Take part in Walk to School Week commencing on the 21st May and use any money saved on fuel or parking as a donation to the CCLG. Even if you don’t go to school, you can you can still get involved by walking to work instead.
  • Have a friendly competition with your friends or colleagues and see who can walk the furthest, or the fastest, or can raise the most money within the month!
  • Do the #try20Challenge which encourages you to walk at least 20 minutes every day for the whole month. This can be a sponsored event to which friends and family can donate.
  • Sign up for a walking event later on in the year and use May as the perfect time to kick start your training

Five Benefits to Walking over Driving!

  • It’s free: Walking is both good for you both physically and financially. There is no cost in using your legs. Currently the cost of running a car is increasing incredibly because of the exponential rise in the price of fuel.
  • Less Pollution: Unlike cars, walking doesn’t cause pollution, whether that be carbon dioxide or sound pollution. As we all want to minimise our impact on the environment, now may be the perfect time to ditch the car for those shorter journeys.
  • Health benefits: Walking as a form of exercise has many health benefits. It strengthens the heart and lungs and makes us less susceptible to pulmonary disease.
  • It makes you feel better: Studies suggest that walking improves mental health, and time outdoors getting fresh air helps clear the mind and relieve stress.
  • Parking: There is none! Walking into a town means you don’t have to drive around for hours looking for an affordable place to park. It makes the whole trip less stressful and there’ll be no more reversing into tight spaces.

Remember while this month is about raising money for charity, the changes you make can be kept for the rest of the year. Or even longer.

5 Ways to Make Your Easter Celebrations More Fun!

Easter is just around the corner, and traditions and celebrations for it are different around the world. However you celebrate it, here are our top 5 ways to make Easter fun this year, for all ages!

Easter Eggschange

It’s common to give gifts in lots of different holidays, but Easter is one where gift-giving isn’t something that is usually done. This is why we think participating in an ‘Easter Eggschange’ is a great idea.

It is just like a Secret Santa, but at Easter. A group of people anonymously buy each other gifts and exchange them. You can even create a theme, for example the gift has to somehow relate to Easter and see where people go with it.

Egg Hunt

Egg hunts are common around the UK and are easy to organise. Just buy a few hollow eggs, put little gifts or treats inside and hide them around a specific location such as the house or garden.

Then set friends or family off, looking around for them and winning the treats. You can even have a grand prize for the person who collects the most eggs.

Easter Games

There are many egg themed games you can play. Our favourites include:

Egg and Spoon Race: Simple and classic. All competitors place an egg on a spoon and then race each other across a specified distance. You can make it more sophisticated, by adding rules such as, if an egg falls and cracks, then the racer is eliminated from the race. Or why not make it an egg and spoon obstacle race to make it more of a challenge.

Egg Toss: Simple. Throw an egg as far as you can, without it breaking. Furthest distance tossed with the egg still un-cracked wins.

Easter Piñata: Fill up an Easter themed Piñata with mini chocolate eggs, sweets and treats. Everyone takes turns to hit it and then dive in and scoop up as many treats as possible.

Chocolate for Breakfast

Have you ever eaten chocolate for breakfast? We here at Infero can neither confirm or deny that we have ever guzzled Cadburys instead of cereal. What we can say is that while it’s not something that is a good idea to do everyday, maybe it is ok, as a special treat for Easter. After all, Easter eggs have been on sale at ridiculously low prices since January and if you find yourself with one too many come the day itself, then just this once, why not?

We won’t tell if you don’t.

Paint and Colour an egg

A fun tradition among children at school is to paint and/or colour eggs as the Easter holidays approach, but who says kids have to have all the fun.

Why not continue this tradition into adulthood and create a eggs-raordinary work of art. Create a few eggs in this way and you can even use these as part of your egg hunt, so the treats come inside a beautifully decorated egg. Or use a giant egg for eggs-tra eggs-travagance.

Enjoy Easter!

Why Guitar is THE instrument to learn this month!

Good news for music lovers everywhere. It’s time to celebrate an instrument that is essential for most modern genres; the guitar. April is International Guitar month, which started in 1987 and has grown in scale since then, and now has an increasing emphasis on guitar instruction. So if you don’t know how to play the guitar, but have always wanted to, it’s the perfect excuse to learn! 

A Brief History 

Today, the guitar is one of the most popular instruments because it is versatile, portable and affordable. It is relatively easy to learn and is the basis of most popular rock and pop music, making it one of the most visible instruments to music fans of all kinds.

Antecedents of the guitar can be found from over three thousand years ago and the term previously referred to instruments used across Europe, beginning in the 12th century and, later, in the Americas.

The form and structure of the modern guitar was established circa 1850 in Spain by different Spanish makers with the most important, possibly, being  Antonio Torres Jurado who increased the size of the guitar body, altered its proportions, and invented the breakthrough fan-braced pattern. This improved the volume, tone, and projection of the instrument, and it has remained essentially unchanged since.

The earliest first-fully functioning solid-body electric guitar to be manufactured and sold was released in 1932 and the development of this instrument, so beloved in popular music, continued in the forties, until we had the instrument that we know today.

How to Celebrate 

Buy a Guitar: International Guitar Month is the perfect opportunity to start learning the instrument. There may be discounts from retailers in April, so keep a look out for these. 

Learn How to Play: Find a teacher, either a friend or a professional, to help you get to grips with the basics, or enrol in a guitar class. The beauty of a guitar as an instrument, however, is that it is relatively easy to grasp the basics and many guitar players are self-taught. So why not teach yourself.

Attend a Music Festival/Concert: If listening is more your thing, go see live artists and appreciate the lyricism and magic that a guitar can create in the hands of a virtuoso. The guitar is recognized as a primary instrument in nearly every popular music genre, including blues, bluegrass, country, flamenco, folk, jazz, jota, mariachi, metal, punk, reggae, rock, soul, and pop. There is something for everyone.

Delve Deeper Into Guitar History, Schedule your OWN concert and perhaps Listen To More Guitar Music, using your favourite streaming service, in the comfort of your own home.

Write a Song: Pen a love song, a protest song, a song about the times we live in, an instrumental, a prog-rock epic, or a gentle acoustic ballad – it doesn’t matter.

Fun Guitar facts: 

  • The world’s biggest functioning guitar is 13 meters long, each string plays the correct note. 
  • On the other hand, the shortest Guitar is only 10 macrons, this one is less playable. 
  • The most expensive guitar ever sold for £2.8 Million, raising funds for charity after a tsunami in India. 
  • James Rowling, in 2020, managed to balance a guitar on his chin for 1 hour and 7 seconds, setting a new world record.  

If you’d like help in managing your work-life balance, so you have time to learn guitar, check out our time management courses or read our blog on how you can Fix Your time Management with These 5 Apps!

Hope: Harness the Emotion That Keeps Us Going.

Hope is often seen as one of the most important emotions in life in life. Defined as an optimistic state of mind based on an expectation of positive outcomes, hope is something that we all have to a greater or lesser extent.

hope/

1.a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.

Oxford Languages

Hope is portrayed as a great motivator in films, TV shows and literature, and psychological studies have shown that hope can, indeed, be of great benefit to us, but only when the thing we hope for is based on a realistic sense of optimism, not on a naïve “false hope”.

In the USA, April is the National Month of Hope and celebrates the power of this emotion. As the days get lighter and warmer and spring really arrives, hope seems to come a little easier.

History: 

The National Month of Hope is the result of the work of the not-for-profit organisation, Mothers In Crisis, Inc. Beginning as a support group for women, the organisation expanded into community-based prevention and intervention for drug rehabilitation. Mothers in Crisis was founded by Rosalind Tompkins in 1991, herself a recovered addict.

Mothers In Crisis, Inc. supports women and families. It’s hope campaign encourages the sharing of stories of hope to help families ripped apart by addiction and this, in turn, led to the recognition of April as the month of hope in 2018.

How to Celebrate: 

Here a few ways you can help spread hope and kindness around your community: 

  • Volunteer by reading to children in schools or a library. 
  • Experience meaningful and healthy communication with loved ones, family, friends, co-workers, and colleagues. 
  • Giving of time, food, and money to help families in need. 
  • Post on social media words of hope, you never know who needs those extra words of encouragement. 
  • Sharing your story of overcoming with those who are going through hard times, can inspire them or show that times can get better. 
  • Lending a helping hand to those in need, can be as simple as carrying someone’s shopping.
  • Cleaning up areas where there is litter such as parks, beaches and any green spaces.
  • Spend a day with the homeless whether on the streets or at a homeless shelter or food bank.

There is no doubt that hope is an important thing in people’s lives and the psychologist Charles R. Snyder has argued that hope should be viewed as a cognitive skill that demonstrates an individual’s ability to maintain drive and motivation in the pursuit of a particular goal.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.

— Emily Dickinson

There have even been some studies that have shown that hope can play an important part in the recovery process from illness; it has strong psychological benefits for patients, helping them to cope more effectively with their disease.

Hope is the thing with feathers, as Emily Dickinson said, and a little bit of hope is good for us all.

Protecting The Animals You Love With Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals Month

Across the UK it is estimated that 44% of households own some sort of pet, whether that be a dog, cat or something else. Unfortunately, it’s also estimated that around 1 million reports of animal abuse are recorded a year. That number should be zero.

Recent legislation has much improved protection for animals, but there is still much to be done. 

What’s Been Done So Far? 

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is the latest animal welfare legislation in England and Wales. It superseded and consolidated more than 20 other pieces of legislation, such as the Protection of Animals Act 1934 and the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960. Prior to this Act, animal welfare law was largely reactive and action could only be taken once an animal had suffered unnecessarily.

The 2006 Act introduced the important concept of a duty of care that animal owners have, whether those animals are pets or commercial animals, to ensure they care for their animals properly. In practical terms this means that an owner must ensure that an animal has:

  • A suitable environment
  • A suitable diet
  • Is able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • Is housed with, or apart, from other animals, as the particular animal’s needs dictate.
  • Is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The penalties for breaking this act originally included being banned from owning pets in the future, facing a fine or a sentence of a maximum of 6 months in prison. Many critics of the law argued these penalties were not enough and, after campaigning by organisations such as the RSPCA, the law had was amended in 2021 so that those guilty of the worse offences could face an unlimited fine or a maximum of 5 years imprisonment.  

Other regulations have been put onto the stature books since the Animal Welfare Act of 2006, including the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 which set minimum welfare standards for farm animals generally, but many would argue that this is still not enough. 

There’s More to Be Done 

Animal rights in the UK have advanced in recent years, but with that estimated one million reports of animal abuse a year, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month is an opportunity to educate ourselves and others as to what we can do to help our furry companions. 

Fox Hunting 

Whilst Fox hunting is illegal in England, Scotland and Wales, it isn’t illegal in Northern Ireland meaning many foxes are still ripped apart by dogs as a sport in this part of the UK. In fact it is estimated that around 400,000 foxes are killed a year across the UK as a whole, as shooting foxes as a pest is still legal.  

Despite the ban on hunting in England, Scotland and Wales, there has been an increase in membership of the Masters of Foxhounds Association (MFHA) which currently represents 176 active foxhound packs in England and Wales and 10 in Scotland.  Illegal hunt still continue and there are many loopholes in the law that allow the killing of foxes by hunting packs. The legislation needs to be strengthened and properly enforced to stop this barbaric an cruel ‘sport’.

Breeding 

Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with breeding pets such as dogs, the over breeding of pedigree animals can cause long term health issues and the main priority should be animals health and wellbeing rather than achieving a perfect look.  

Pugs, for example, have for years been bred to achieve flatter features, but as a consequence many individuals of the breed have issues with breathing. This affects their ability to exercise, causing knock-on effects to their health as a whole.  

What Can We do? 

Participate in Prevention to Animal Cruelty Month by: 

  • Signing petitions, whether it be to create further protections for animals or to bring in new legisalation where the law is still lacking. Write to your MP. If enough of us act, it could make a difference. 
  • Consider adopting your next pet from a shelter rather than a breeder. Perhaps you could take in an animal that has had bad treatment previously and help change an animal’s life by letting them live in a loving home. 
  • If you are going to get a pet from a breeder, try and find an one that is ethical and that prioritises the health of animals over making money. The RSPCA have a list of guidelines to help you find an ethical breeder. 
  • If you can’t adopt a new pet, perhaps you could donate some time or money to a local animal shelter, to help with to give unfortunate animals a second chance. Every little will help. 
  • We can also make small changes in the way we shop, by buying free range eggs, milk and other dairy products, and by trying to ensure that the food we buy is ethically sourced. Giving producers a financial incentive to treat animals ethically can only be a win-win.

 

Animals provide us with so much love, companionship and loyalty and make the world such a better place. They deserve a little bit of effort from us to help make their lives better.