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Vets urged not to carry out amputations on hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are the second most common species admitted to WAF's centre and a fifth of these animals have suffered limb injuries.
Experts say wild hedgehogs face a ‘bleak future’ with three legs 

Vets are being warned not to carry out limb amputations on injured hedgehogs, as they are unlikely to survive in the wild.

The Wildlife Aid Foundation (WAF) issued the warning following a recent case, in which a vet amputated a hedgehog’s leg in a well-meaning attempt to save the animal’s life.

WAF recommends that limbs are repaired where possible, or if this cannot be achieved, the most humane course of action is euthanasia.

Hedgehogs are the second most common species admitted to the charity’s centre and a fifth of these animals have suffered limb injuries, such as fractures, luxations or amputations. While these mammals respond well to medical and surgical treatment, in some cases the injury may be too severe.

WAF founder Simon Cowell said: “Vets may believe they are doing the right thing by amputating broken and damaged limbs because hedgehogs are hardy enough to survive such procedures, but once the animal is back in the wild it needs to be able to dig for food and scratch and groom effectively.

“Hedgehogs pick up a lot of ticks and lice and over the years we have seen many cases where hedgehogs with missing and injured limbs get completely infested. The bites become infected and they die very slow and painful deaths.

“As hedgehogs released back into the wild after amputation are likely to suffer and unlikely to survive, the kindest course of action if a limb cannot be saved is to euthanise.”

Cases such as these underline the importance of vets and wildlife rescues joining together to share knowledge, he added. WAF encourages vets to contact them or another reputable wildlife rehabilitation centre with any doubts about the appropriate treatment for wildlife. 

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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”