“When was the last time you saw a pair of tits on a bird?” asks Trevor

Rescuers from an East Sussex animal charity are asking well meaning people not to feed milk to injured wildlife which could potentially kill the casualty.

Members of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) are regularly called out to deal with young or injured birds and mammals only find that they have been given milk to drink. "Unfortunately milk is bad for and potentially life threatening for most baby birds and mammals who find it difficult to digest cows milk and other types of milk too" said Trevor Weeks Rescue Co-ordinator for East Sussex WRAS, "we get called all the time to people who have found birds and start giving them bread and milk to eat and drink. When was the last time you saw a pair of tits on a bird? Birds do not have breasts. Birds especially are not used to milk and have difficulty in digesting it."

"I regularly have to explain to people and ask them to take away the milk and they quite often feel a bit of ’tit’ as a result, excuse the pun!" explains Tim McKenzie Casualty Care Manager for East Sussex WRAS, "but it is amazing how many people just haven’t thought about it and when you point it out to them they feel a bit silly."

WRAS is asking anyone who finds a injured or orphaned wild animal or birds to only provide it with water. "If necessary you can dilute a small amount of suger in some warm water and mix well, this can give some casualties a bit of extra energy as well as vital fluids" said Trevor.

"On more serious note, fluids are an important part of treating a casualty and the first thing a casualty does in shock is start to loose fluids and if not addressed properly or quickly can cause the animal to respond slowly to treatment, dehydrate or even die" added Tim McKenzie, "however, please be careful when trying to give fluids to any wildlife casualty as some can bite and it is also possible to drown the casualty it you get the fluid in its air way. So please be careful and seek advice if you do not know what you are doing. Quite often it is best just to put a shallow bowl in the box with the casualty."

The old wife’s tale of feeding bread and milk to the injured hedgehogs has been circulating to many years and there are many people who still think thats what you should do. Unfortunately some of the people think other animals should also be fed milk too. "Water is always best" says Trevor, "you can save lives just by providing water for a casualty to drink rather than potentially kill it by giving it milk."

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958

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