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RSPCA reports more than 2200 incidents of cruelty to wildlife in 2020
The RSPCA is urging the public to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the RSPCA cruelty line or the police.

Charity fears spike in cruelty to wildlife during second lockdown

The RSPCA has expressed concerns over a rise in incidents of cruelty to wildlife as England enters a second lockdown. These fears come as a result of new data, showing that the charity has received more than 2200 reports of wildlife cruelty in 2020 so far, spiking in May.

RSPCA national wildlife co-ordinator Geoff Edmond said: “Our data shows that reports of cruelty to wildlife surged during the first lockdown. We fear a similar peak could happen all over again during this second lockdown, as some people again look for savage ways to pass the time.

“Our inspectors see first-hand the suffering inflicted by criminals on animals through wildlife crime such as badger baiting, dog fighting, hare coursing and trapping birds.”

According to Mr Edmond, police forces reported an increase in anti-social behaviour during the first lockdown. The RSPCA is concerned that the stress and frustration that lockdown brings may lead some people to seek ‘entertainment’ through these horrible acts of cruelty towards animals.

The RSPCA has already responded to thousands of incidents of cruelty to wildlife this year. Just last month, the charity was called out to help a badger in Nantwich, Cheshire that had severe wounds, most likely from an illegal badger-baiting attack. In September, RSPCA veterinary staff successfully operated on a swan which had been shot in the neck with an arrow.

Mr Edmond concluded: “There is no place for cruelty to animals in today’s society and we urge anyone who spots anything suspicious when out on their daily exercise or sees anything online to report it to the RSPCA’s cruelty line or their local police force.”

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Budding 'Dr Dolittles' sought for writing competition

News Story 1
 Vets are being invited to enter a writing competition run by the Page Turner Awards for a chance to get their story published or even made into a film.

Dubbed the 'Rolls Royce' of writing awards, the Page Turner competition provides an opportunity for aspiring writers to submit unpublished fiction and non-fiction work to be read by a panel of influential players in the publishing industry.

A spokesperson said: 'Do you think of yourself as a magical healer, like Dr Dolittle. Or maybe you have a story to share about the times when, sadly, animals can't be treated, and pet owners reflect on those moments they took for granted."

For more information, visit 

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News Shorts
Avian influenza confirmed in Lancashire

A case of highly pathogenic (HPAI H5N8) avian influenza has been confirmed in two captive peregrine falcons on a non-commercial, non-poultry premises near Skelmersdale, West Lancashire.

Following a risk assessment, APHA has declared that no disease control zones have been put in place surrounding this non-commercial, non-poultry premises.

Eighteen cases of HPAI H5N8 have now been identified in poultry and other captive birds in England. A housing order for poultry and captive birds introduced by Defra to control the spread of the disease expired on 31 March, although bird keepers in England are still required by law to comply with biosecurity measures.

For more information, please click here.