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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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Nominations for 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards now open

News Story 1
 People across the UK are being urged to nominate a standout animal champion for the 2019 RSPCA Honours Awards.

The awards recognise those who have worked tirelessly to improve animal welfare, campaigned on behalf of animals, or shown true bravery. Previous winners include comedian John Bishop, who was awarded Celebrity Animal Champion of the Year, and 11-year-old Lobby Cantwell, who raised more than £1,000 for the charity through mountain climbs and bike rides.

To submit a nomination or find out more about the awards visit the RSPCA website. Nominations will remain open until 4 pm on Friday, March 15.  

Click here for more...
News Shorts
New £1m project to investigate dairy cow lameness

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) is leading a new £1 million research project to investigate the causes of lameness in dairy cows.

One in three dairy cows are affected by lameness every day in the UK, costing the industry an estimated £250 milion annually.

The project will take three years to complete and is due to finish by November 2021.

Professor Georgios Banos of SRUC commented: “In addition to pain and discomfort to the animal, lameness is associated with decreased milk production and inflated farm costs.

“Among cows raised in the same environment, some become lame while others do not. Understanding the reasons behind this will help us develop targeted preventive practices contributing to enhanced animal welfare and farm profitability.”