DEFRA confusion causes hedgehog to suffer

Wildlife Rescuers are extremely annoyed with DEFRA for causing suffering to a hedgehog over the weekend.

"On saturday we were told be DEFRA’s helpline that there was a movement restriction placed on hedgehogs and we could not move them and deer" said Trevor Weeks founder of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS).

WRAS has spent almost £100 on purchasing protective clothing and disinfectant etc for dealing with hedgehogs during the foot and mouth outbreak.

Saturday night WRAS was called to an emaciated hedgehogs at Langney. Unable to move the casualty the hedgehogs was warmed up, had fly eggs removed and give some food and fluid to eat. The following morning the hedgehogs was getting worse so WRAS contacted St Annes Veterinary Centre asked if one of the vets would attend to the hedgehogs out on site. St Annes Vets contacted DEFRA to be told that there was no movement restriction on hedgehogs.

"This came as a surprise to us," said Trevor, "I phoned DEFRA’s helpline and was promptly told again that there was a movement restriction on hedgehogs. When I told them what St Annes Vets had said they put me in touch with a special Animal Health division, who said that there had been some confusion and that there was no movement restrictions placed on hedgehogs! I also called St Tiggywinkles, Europe's biggest wildlife hospital, and they were implementing a special treatment programme to treat hedgehogs out on site too, they were also surprised at the news after they too had been told that they could not move hedgehogs."

The poorly hedgehog from Langney was then rushed to St Annes for treatment but had obviously suffered overnight as a result of the confusion within DEFRA!

"I am not happy about this, we should expect better than this from a Government department, if they can’t get this bit of information right what else are they not getting right" said Trevor, "I am glad that hedgehogs can be moved and they can be given the treatment they need and hopefully no more hedgehogs will suffer as a result."

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Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958 (private).

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