Animal bonfire warning

An animal rescue charity is asking builders of bonfires to be careful this autumn over the bonfire season and to put simple measures in place to avoid any unnecessary animal suffering.

Every year thousands on animals are thought to die or suffer needless burns as a result of bonfires across the country.

"Two years ago we were called to a house in Langney where a hedgehog crawled out from under a bonfire in a garden suffering with 40% burns to its body. The children present were young and very upset as a result and sadly the poor hedgehog died" said Trevor Weeks, Rescue Co-ordinator for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS).

WRAS is urging members of the public and bonfire societies to undertake either of these simple tasks to try and avoid any unnecessary hedgehogs deaths.

  • When building a bonfire surround it with a wire fence to stop creatures getting inside or
  • Rebuild / move existing bonfires to ensure no animals are inside

and to...

  • Lite one side of the bonfire rather than all the way round to help provide an escape route for any animals which have managed to get inside
  • Have some water ready in case any animals are burnt

"Following these simple rules will reduce down the risk of any animals being caught inside and any that are can get out safely" said Trevor Weeks.

"It is not unusual for us to deal with escapes pets too around this time whilst out on the road. We don’t as a general rule get involved with domestic pets but have come across several escapes pets running around after fire works and parties" said Trevor, "please remember the animal whilst having fun, seek advice and help before your pets get frightened so you know how to help them and keep them calm. Your local veterinary centre can give you advice and help you if your pets get very frightened at this time of year."

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

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