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 £281k animal rescue bill for Lancashire fire service

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PostSubject: £281k animal rescue bill for Lancashire fire service   Fri May 27, 2011 7:28 pm

ANIMAL rescues in Lancashire have cost the fire service £281,000 in the last three years, figures have revealed.

With the county’s rural nature, coasts and farming heritage, hundreds of animals get into trouble each year.

UK fire services spent at least £3.5m rescuing 17,000 animals in the
last three years, according to figures revealed under the Freedom of
Information Act.

Across the country firefighters got a cow out of a tree, removed a snail from a wall and reunited a duckling with its mother.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman John Taylor said the
majority of their call-outs were to help large farm animals such as
horses and cows.

He said: “As well as an intrinsic value, farm animals have a
significant ecomonic cost. The loss of an animal can have a big impact
on a business.

“Underpinning it all is that firefighters are given the job of saving
lives. We don’t draw the line at hamsters and don’t nitpick over
species.

“If a crew didn’t turn up at an animal rescue then a have-a-go-hero
would and they’ve been known to get ito difficulty, particularly in
Lancashire on the coasts.

“You only have to think back to the Lancashire Telegraph’s pictures of
the lady who fell into the ice rescuing her dog this winter.

“Rescue is a specialised business and it is appropriate that people dial 999 and get the fire crews along.”

In 2008, Lancashire crews spent seven days, 16 hours and 48 minutes on
animal rescues and in 2010 then spent just under five hours more.

But in 2009, firefighters were rescuing animals for a total of 15 days, 10 hours and 18 minutes.

In November a deer was freed by Nelson’s specialist animal rescue team
when it got its antlers stuck in fencing at Alder Grange Community
Technology College.

In July a thirsty horse got stuck in a small pond in Alliance Street,
Baxenden, after going for a drink and sinking in the mud. Firefighters
and residents used a tractor and slings to pull it free.

Mr Taylor said there was no prospect of charges being introduced for the service in Lancashire.
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