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Rescue seals named after royal couple
The rescue centre urged the public to show ‘decorum’ when it comes to animals found on the beach.
Meghan Mackerel and Prince Herring were born prematurely 

A pair of rescued seals have been named ‘Prince Herring’ and ‘Meghan Mackerel’, in honour of the royal couple Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The seals (not pictured) were rescued separately in June by Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, where they now reside. Meghan Mackerel was found alone on Sidney Island near Victoria on June 18, with no sign of her mother.

She was underweight, had remnants of her umbilical cord still attached and was still covered in soft fur, suggesting she was born prematurely.

Prince Herring was also born prematurely and was found two days later in a marsh located inland from Crescent Beach. He was still attached to the placenta but his mother was nowhere in sight.

In a statement, the rescue centre urged the public to show ‘decorum’ when it comes to animals found on the beach.

Assistant manager Emily Johnson said: "Mothers will often leave their pups on shore while they forage for food; they will usually make it back. We ask those who find a seal pup not to touch it and to keep their pets away. Call us, we'll assess the animal, then decide if a rescue is needed."

Members of the public can symbolically ‘adopt’ Meghan or Herring to help fund ongoing rehabilitation efforts at the centre, which rescues, rehabilitates and releases around 150 animals a year.

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RSPCA braced for ‘hectic hedgehog month’

News Story 1
 The RSPCA says that it is bracing itself for a ‘hectic hedgehog month’ after calls to the charity about the creatures peaked this time last year.

More than 10,000 calls about hedgehogs were made to the RSPCA’s national helpline in 2018, 1,867 of which were in July. This compares with just 133 calls received in February of the same year.

Evie Button, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said: “July is our busiest month for hedgehogs. Not only do calls about hedgehogs peak, but so do admissions to our four wildlife centres as members of the public and our own officers bring in orphaned, sick or injured animals for treatment and rehabilitation.” 

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ASF traces found in seized meat at NI airport

More than 300kg of illegal meat and dairy products were seized at Northern Ireland’s airports in June, DAERA has revealed.

A sample of these were tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, resulting in the detection of African swine fever DNA fragments.

DAERA said that while the discovery does not pose a significant threat to Northern Ireland’s animal health status, it underlines the importance of controls placed on personal imports of meat and dairy products. Holidaymakers travelling overseas are being reminded not to bring any animal or plant products back home.