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Young seal found with air filter around his neck
“It is just so heartbreaking to see a wild animal suffer through this and I hope people can get more involved in reducing plastic in the environment.”

Rescued seal learnt to swim on his back to reduce pain

A wild seal is recovering in Norfolk after being found with an air filter stuck around his neck.

The injured young seal, who has been named ‘Relashio’, was spotted off the coast of Burnham Overy Staithe by two local teachers, Sarah Jones and Tracey Johnston.

Authorities were alerted and he was quickly rescued by a volunteer from the British Divers Marine Life Rescue and staff from Sea Life Hunstanton.

Veterinary surgeon Christopher Tansley, of Coastal Veterinary Group, said: “Relashio was immediately brought to us to examine him and then remove the object around his neck.

“The circular plastic piece of air filter had obviously been around the poor animal’s neck for some time as it had cut deep into the fat as he grew in size. We have seen similar injuries in cats before, but we have never seen anything as severe as this in a seal.”

Relashio is now recovering at Sea Life Hunstanton. Staff monitoring him soon realised he had learnt to swim and sleep on his back to help cope with the pain caused by the air filter. He is learning to swim upright again as he mimics other seals at the sanctuary.

Aquarist Nicky Nelson commented: “If he hadn’t been discovered then he would have almost certainly perished a slow and painful death as he continued to grow in size, the wound would have continued to deepen until it stopped him from eating or breathing.

“It is just so heartbreaking to see a wild animal suffer through this and I hope people can get more involved in reducing plastic in the environment.”

Relashio is expected to make a full recovery and could be released back into the wild in the next four weeks.

Image © Sea Life Hunstanton

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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.”