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Group reports ‘worst year’ for Horsey seal injuries
Plastic fishing nets and other items of rubbish are causing serious injuries to seals in Norfolk.

At least 10 seals currently caught up in plastic rubbish

A community group from Norfolk says that 2018 has been “worse than any other” year for seal injuries caused by rubbish.

The Friends of Horsey Seals tracks a seal colony in Norfolk and told BBC News that at least 10 animals currently have nets stuck to them or plastic rubbish tangled around their necks.

The RSPCA also revealed to BBC News that it had treated and released six grey seals from Norfolk so far this year - the highest figure ever reported by the charity.

Alison Charles, manager of the RSPCA's East Winch Wildlife Centre said: “It’s horrifying. They are inquisitive, so they get caught in nets from fishing trawlers and the single nylon lines used in mackerel fis
hing, and Frisbees - just all the rubbish that's out there.

"I've even seen a seal with a bikini around its neck. As they get larger and larger, it cuts through the skin and they get an infection. They cannot extend their neck, so they cannot fish."

Some of the many injuries reported by The Friends of Horsey Seals include a young adult male that suffered “horrendous” injuries when it found itself caught up in plastic netting. In September 2017, a seal was also left with serious injuries after it got its head stuck in a frisbee.

Volunteer David Wyse said the seals had to be weakened by infection and isolated on the beach before they could be helped.

"Another problem is the females are about to give birth and any serious disturbance to the group could result in miscarriages," he told BBC News.

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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.”