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Electrical fault cause of fire at Chester zoo
Amano shrimps were among the animals killed in the fire.
Over £140,000 raised in donations from well-wishing public

An initial investigation into the fire at Chester zoo has revealed an electrical fault as the cause.

The fire killed numerous rare species of animals and insects including cinnamon frogs, tentacled snakes, betta hendra fish, question mark cockroaches, Amano shrimps and grosbeak starlings.

A JustGiving fundraiser for the zoo has so far gained over £140,000 in donations from the public.

Cheshire fire and rescue service are maintaining their investigation but so far believe the electrical fault to be accidental.   

Many animals were able to be saved through enticing them away from the flames with food. New homes have now been found in unaffected areas of the zoo.

Speaking about the investigation, Jamie Cheston, chief operating officer at Chester zoo, said: “We’re grateful that the fire and rescue service has been able to conclude its investigation into the cause of the fire so swiftly and would again like to thank them for their valiant efforts on the day, which helped us to rescue so many animals and minimise the extent of the damage.”

Lee Shears, area manager at Cheshire fire and rescue service, commented: “Firefighters and zoo staff worked closely together in an incredibly challenging situation to evacuate the building and rescue as many animals as possible.

“The professionalism and expertise of the staff at the zoo meant that many precious species were saved.”

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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.”