Wildlife Rescuers warn wildlife will suffer as a result of Foot and Mouth Outbreak

Wildlife Rescuers from a Sussex Charity are warning that wildlife will suffer as a result of the Foot and Mouth outbreak and the movement restrictions which have been put in place.

Trevor Weeks Rescue Co-ordinator for East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) was dealing with a road casualty deer when he heard of the movement restriction being imposed. The deer has had to be isolated so that it cannot come into contact with any other animals. "Normally we move such patients to the specialist deer unit at St Tiggywinkles in Buckinghamshire after initial treatment here in East Sussex, but on contacting St Tiggywinkles they informed us that movement restrictions were now in place, as a result of a Foot and Mouth outbreak in Surrey" said Trevor "the deer has been treated by local vets and a specialist vet from St Tiggywinkles is due to come down tomorrow to assess the animals condition and whether we can apply for a movement order to get the deer to St Tiggywinkles for the specialist treatment it needs."

As a result of the movement restrictions being imposed by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, WRAS rescuers will not be able to move road casualty or other types of injured deer from where they have been found. This does not just apply to deer but to hedgehogs too. "No other wildlife is affected apart from deer and hedgehogs" said Trevor, "this will be frustrating for us as we are fairly busy with them at this time of year."

WRAS rescuers are liaising with the veterinary staff at St Tiggywinkles and local veterinary practices and hope to be able to implement a bio pack for rescuers to use and treat injured hedgehogs out on site without moving them. "This does mean that some hedgehogs which we would normally be able to treat, we will not be allowed to move in order to get them that treatment. Minor casualties we will try and treat out on site but it will mean that some will have to be put to sleep in order to stop them suffering" said Trevor, " we do not like this at all, I can understand why they are doing it, but that doesn’t mean I like it. I sincerely hope that we do not get any incidents in East Sussex or near our facilities. We do have two hedgehogs in at the moment and this have been isolated and bio-security measures put in place to prevent them from catching anything."

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

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