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Staffordshire Bull Terriers named the UK’s favourite dog breed

Good news for Staffies at last!

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@happystaffierescue / Instagram & Henry Ravenscroft / Unsplash

A competition has revealed that Staffordshire Bull Terriers – or Staffies, to most of us – are the nation’s favourite dog breed.

Now, this news has come as a refreshing change of tone after decades of bad press for the poor Staffordshire Bull Terrier. RSPCA welfare expert, Lisa Hens, said of the breed: “Unfortunately, Staffies have suffered a great deal from overbreeding and bad press. They’re definitely Britain’s most misunderstood breed. 

“It’s heartbreaking to see so many ending up in our care due to cruelty and irresponsible ownership. Sadly, as Crufts highlighted, they’re often taken on as ‘status dogs’ and can be found at the centre of anti-social dog behaviour due to the way in which they’ve been reared and trained, and the behaviour and attitude of their owners.

@dotdione / Unsplash

“However, given the right home and care, Staffies can make absolutely wonderful family pets. And many of the Staffies in our care are affectionate, playful, fun-loving dogs who would thrive in family homes.”

And this stance on the breed has been proven this week in a new competition hosted by TeamDogs: the dog-lovers community teamed up with Pooch and Mutt in a bid to find the UK’s favourite dog breed and, low and behold, it was Staffie who took the top spot.

The competition started three weeks ago with forty-seven breeds and, each week, the bottom ten breeds were put in ‘the dog house’ and eliminated from the competition.

@happystaffoerescue / Instagram

TeamDogs also added breeds who voters felt deserved a place in the competition, taking the number up to fifty-two. These were Doberman, Samoyed, Great Dane, Bedlington Terrier and Akita. However, none of these ultimately came close to knocking our beloved Staffies off the top spot.

The full top ten favourite breeds are as follows: Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Black Labrador, Boxer, Greyhound, Border Collie, German Shepherd, Cockapoo, Border Terrier, Cocker Spaniel and Jack Russell. 

To view the full list (and to see if your dog made the cut, of course), visit the Teamdogs website here. 

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Woman sparks outrage after advertising cans of petrol for sale on Stockport Facebook group

As people queue for miles for fuel, one woman decided to cash in on the crisis

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A woman sparked was met with a wave of backlash this morning after she advertised two cans of petrol for sale in a local Facebook group.

The controversial advert was posted in the Marple, Romiley & Bredbury Community Facebook group this morning, where two cans of petrol were being flogged for £50 or the nearest offer.

The ad read: “10L e10 petrol. Collection from Romiley. £50 Ono. Cans not included but can fill up on collection.”

The post, which has since been deleted, instantly racked up a number of angry reactions, with one social media user asking, “Is this a wind up?”

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The woman’s attempt at cashing in on the ongoing ‘fuel shortage’ crisis comes shortly after the government urged people to not stock up on fuel, explaining that there is no shortage.

Chairman Brian Madderson said the shortages were actually down to ‘panic buying, pure and simple’ as he slammed whoever leaked BP’s original supply concerns to the media following a meeting with Government earlier this month.

Madderson added: “Whoever leaked it to a main broadcaster must have known the chaos that would ensue as soon as it hit newspapers, and that’s what we’ve had.”

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North West residents urged to cut back on water as reservoirs run low

United Utilities has suggested a number of ways in which residents can cut back on their water usage

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Andres Siimon / Unsplash & Pixabay

United Utilities has issued a water usage warning for North West residents as reservoir levels plummet. 

While reporting that the region’s supply of tap water is ‘less than half what it should be’ at this time of the year, the water supplier has offered an array of suggestions as to how residents can lower their water usage.

In an email to customers, United Utilities said: “To keep precious water in the reservoirs until they have a chance to recover and help protect local wildlife, save water and only use what you need.

Jorge Franganillo / Flickr

“We can do this with very little impact on our usual routine and every drop is precious, so swap a bath for a four minute shower, use the washing machine once less each week and re-use water where you can.”

The water supply across the North West comes from Haweswater and Thirlmere reservoirs in the Lake District, which are both only 36% full – usual levels in September would be around 70%, according to ITV News.

The shortage comes as a result of an unusually dry summer; although there were plenty of wetter days in North West cities and towns and even flooding in some areas, it has been the driest June to September in over 130 years in the Lake District.

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There has also been extra demand on water being used as a result of more people staying at home and taking holidays in the north west during the pandemic.

Over on their website, the supplier also suggests a number of methods to lower water usage, such as turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, using a washing up bowl when washing the dishes, and refraining from overfilling the kettle by only boiling what you need.

For those with a garden, United Utilities also suggests investing in a butt, a device which collects rainwater to be used in the house, and to fully ditch the hosepipe while watering plants and washing cars, noting that using a watering can for your plants and a bucket and sponge for your car will not only save water, but will do wonders for the environment.

See their full list of tips here. 

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More than 10,000 foreign workers to be handed UK visas amid HGV driver shortages

The workers will be given the right to work in the UK up until Christmas Eve

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John Carver / Geograph & John Cameron / Unsplash

Over 10,000 foreign workers will be given temporary UK visas in the government’s bid to tackle the ongoing supply issues experienced across the country.

The temporary scheme will be offered to around 5,000 HGV drivers and 5,500 poultry workers, who will be granted employment in the UK until Christmas Eve.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has confirmed that the visas will be made available from next month and will ‘ensure preparations remain on track’ for the festive season.

Oast House Archive / Wikimedia Commons

He said: “This package of measures builds on the important work we have already done to ease this global crisis in the UK, and this Government continues to do everything we can to help the haulage and food industries contend with the HGV driver shortage.

“We are acting now but the industries must also play their part, with working conditions continuing to improve and the deserved salary increases continuing to be maintained in order for companies to retain new drivers.

“After a very difficult eighteen months, I know how important this Christmas is for all of us and that’s why we’re taking these steps at the earliest opportunity to ensure preparations remain on track.”

As a result of the worker shortage, supermarkets across the country and major restaurant chains such as Nando’s, KFC and McDonald’s have been experiencing major supply issues.

 Various retailers have also been warning that a solution must be found within days to avoid ‘significant disruption’ in the run-up to Christmas.

The exact cause of the labour shortages remain unclear, though it is believed to be a result of both the Covid-19 pandemic, Brexit and the cost of training and pay. 

According to Sky News, the RHA claims around 20,000 European drivers have left the UK for ‘Brexit reasons’. They added that the pandemic saw many foreign HGV drivers return to their home countries, with the ‘vast majority’ not returning. There has also been a large backlog in HGV driver tests due to the pandemic, meaning tens of thousands of potential new drivers have been unable to join the industry.

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