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Don’t touch baby birds

The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Jacquie O’Quinn with Dr Marc Abraham OBE recently invited me to a reception to celebrate the work of local Animal Welfare Champions.

We regularly call upon the East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service when a bird, hedgehog or other member of our local wildlife is in trouble, and they are brilliant at responding. But I was amazed to learn that they responded to over 5,900 casualties just in 2023. The sheer number of volunteers to enable this is mind-boggling, and they always need more. Training is provided.

The RSPCA talked about their need to build more kennel space for animals looking for fostering and rehoming. They are particularly looking for homes for kittens at the moment. If you are ready to welcome a cat into your life for the next twenty years, or just short-term until a permanent home is found, do get in touch with them.

Raystede were keen to talk about their educational role in the community. They provide learning onsite in Ringmer, but also in schools, online and with free pet advice events in the community. Entry to their rescue centre is free, but needs to be pre-booked online. Dog behaviourists and trainers were talking to Sussex Wildlife about how to protect ground nesting birds and other wildlife from unnecessary disturbance by dog walkers. And the Humane Society International talked about their work to ban the import of hunting trophies and fur, as well as their efforts to support animal welfare all around the world.

One thing I discovered that was an eye-opener for me was that making a donation to these wonderful charities or volunteering are not the only way animal lovers like myself can help. We can also help by following them on social media and reposting their messages. I came away full of hope, seeing so many people all working together for the benefit of both people and animals. And please remember to read the RSCPA’s advice about baby birds you might spot on the ground at this time of year, before touching them. They may be fine.

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