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Is the worlds oldest dog a scam? // Post Office Leader gives back CBE

A canine that was named the oldest dog ever has lost his title amid an investigation into the animal's past

Bobi, who lived in Portugal, was said to have been 30 years and 268 days when he was named the world’s oldest by Guinness World Records last February.

In October 2023, he died at the reported age of 31 years and 163 days.

But doubts have now been raised over whether he really was the oldest canine ever – despite his birth apparently being confirmed by the Portuguese government’s pet database and the National Union of Veterinarians.

Bobi was a purebred Rafeiro do Alentejo, a breed of livestock guardian dog with an average life expectancy of 12 to 14 years.

Sceptics have asked why photos purportedly of Bobi in his youth would show him with white paws when they were brown in his later years, reported The Times. Guinness World Records has said it is withdrawing his title until an investigation is completed.

“While our review is ongoing we have decided to temporarily pause both the record titles for ‘oldest dog living’ and ‘oldest dog ever’ – just until all of our findings are in place,” a spokeswoman told The Times.

The publication said it appeared his grand old age may have instead been due to slack fact-checking.

An investigation by Wired magazine found Bobi had only been registered on the Portuguese government’s pet database in 2022, a year before he died.

At the time, Bobi’s owner had declared the canine had been born in 1992, but an official for the database stated it had “no registration or data that can confirm or deny this statement”, Wired reported.

Registration of dogs born before 2008 didn’t become mandatory in Portugal until October 2020, so it’s possible Bobi really was born in 1992, but his owner didn’t have the paperwork to prove it, according to Wired.

The title could go to Spike, a living chihuahua from Ohio, who briefly held the crown last January at the age of 23 years, before being usurped by Bobi.

For Spike’s initial verification, his owner Rita Kimball provided Guinness World Records with vet records and bills that placed his date of birth in 1999 as well as photos of him through the years.

However she said she had not had him since he was a puppy and she found him in 2009 in a car park.

And her proof may not be enough, the organisation told her.

Wired reported that in an email to Ms Kimball, a Guinness World Records representative wrote: “We are reviewing how we verify animal age records at the moment, so ahead of reinstating Spike as the record-holder, we would like to discuss the possibility of you arranging for a second vet to assess Spike and confirm his age.

“It’s likely many of our record categories will require a second opinion for verification in the future.”

Paula Vennells was CEO during crisis, with more than 100 potential victims coming forward since TV drama

The former Post Office chief executive Paula Vennells is to hand back her CBE over the wrongful prosecution of hundreds of staff, with over 100 more potential victims having come forward in recent weeks.

Vennells said on Tuesday she would return the award given to her in 2019 as the fallout from ITV’s drama about the scandal continues to grow.

Vennells is just one of a number of high-profile figures who have been caught up in the scandal since the drama first aired on 1 January. Others to have come under scrutiny include Ed Davey and other former postal affairs ministers, and, increasingly, senior figures at the technology company Fujitsu, which has been called to testify next week in front of the Commons business committee.

ITV meanwhile said the four programmes of the drama are now the most-watched on any channel this year.

Meanwhile ministers are still trying to decide how best to speed up the compensation scheme and are even considering passing a bill to issue mass exonerations for hundreds of people whose convictions have still not been quashed.

Lawyers acting for many of the victims said they had been contacted by over 100 more people seeking legal advice after the broadcast of the four-part drama.

Alex Chalk, the justice secretary, told MPs on Tuesday he expected to make an announcement shortly on how best to accelerate the pardons and the payouts.

He told MPs: “These were truly exceptional circumstances. When I was a backbencher, I was on the record as saying this is the most serious miscarriage of justice since the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six. But the clue is there were four in the Guildford case, there were six in the Birmingham case. We are talking about hundreds.

“It is truly exceptional, it is truly unprecedented, and it will need an appropriate resolution.”

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