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Escaped porcupine evades Suffolk police
Sudbury and Haverhill Police are asking anyone who sees the latest porcupine runaway to contact a local vet or the RSPCA.
The quilled rodent is on the run in Clare, Suffolk.

Suffolk police have launched an appeal on Facebook after they spotted a porcupine on the loose.

The creature was seen by police officers who were driving through the market town of Clare at 1.30am on 20 September.

The officers stopped on the B1063 in attempt to catch the fugitive, however it disappeared into a nearby garden.

Porcupines are more commonly found in America, Africa, Asia and parts of Europe.

The rodents’ Latin name, Erethizon dorsatum, literally means ‘quill pig’, a reference to the 30,000 needle-like quills that grow on their backs, sides and tails.

Though they cannot shoot them at predators, their sharp quills leap to attention as a deterrent and are often found stuck in animals that have had a porcupine encounter.

The escapee may be approximately 25-36 inches in height, and weigh between 12- 35lbs.

This isn’t the first time Suffolk has had a porcupine problem, after a local newspaper reported three of the rodents roving between Bury St Edmunds and Clare in September 2021.

Firefighters in nearby Cambridgeshire have also been surprised to see a porcupine on the loose in the village of Harston after they had answered a call-out in August 2021.

Sudbury and Haverhill Police are asking anyone who sees the latest porcupine runaway to contact a local vet or the RSPCA.

Image © Shutterstock

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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Duchess of York stars in charity calendar

The National Foundation for Retired Service Animals (NFRSA) has released its charity calendar for 2024, featuring Sarah, Duchess of York and a selection of the retired service animals the charity supports.

The 12 images were taken by animal photographer Gerry Slade and include retired police dogs and horses, a former border force detector dog, and a retired fire investigation and urban search and rescue dog.

Sarah, Duchess of York, who is a patron of the charity, appears alongside retired police dog Jessie in the photograph for December.

So far this year, the charity has given more than 40,000 in grants to help former service animals with their veterinary care. After retirement, they receive no financial support from the Government and obtaining affordable insurance can be difficult.