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The Ealing Animals Fair is organised by Thinking of Animals CIC
Although the information given here is, to the best of the organiser’s knowledge and belief,
correct, the organiser reserves the right to make alterations and amendments, as necessary.

As well as founding the Ealing Animals Fair, Marion Garnett has also, since 2011, written a weekly Animal Rescue column which is published in the West London local newspaper, The Gazette. Columns published since January 2019 are now available online here.

If you would like to see any of the columns published before 2019, please contact Marion directly (see the Contacts page).


Column 7th April 2021

It’s easier than you think to draw a horse. Admittedly, it might not get hung in the National Gallery but it’s a recognisable horse. There are still a few days left of the Easter holidays and if you’re running out of ways to keep children occupied, here’s a few ideas.

Let’s start with how to draw a horse. You can find this out at bluecross.org.uk. They also show us how to draw a cat, dog and rabbit. Like many other animal charities, although Blue Cross have education programmes for schools, they also have activities children can do at home. Other activities they provide include pictures to colour, dot to dot puzzles and word games. For a child who likes animals, these would definitely keep them occupied for a morning.

Regular readers might recognise one of the animals featured in the National Animal Welfare Trust’s (NAWT’s) collection of children’s games. Beautiful Zen featured in this column several times before he found a home. In Zen’s puzzle, children navigate their way through a maze to help him find his bed (although, from my knowledge of Zen, he would have preferred help to find food). Other children’s activities NAWT suggest include designing a home for a pair of rabbits (remember A Hutch is Not Enough) and creating a poster. You can see their ideas at nawt.org.uk.

The RSPCA produce a quarterly children’s magazine, Animal Action, packed with animal rescue and rehoming stories. It also features puzzles, quizzes, competitions, pet care advice and a behind the scenes look at their centres. Details of Animal Action, (which costs £7.50 a year) and RSPCA’s children’s activities are available at rspca.org.uk where, for children interested in working with animals when they are older, they also provide information about the different jobs available.

Finally, for young people who want to do some serious photography or filmmaking, the Born Free Foundation is holding its first Youth Wildlife Filmmaker and Photographer of the Year competition. The theme is Hope Springs Eternal. Their aim is to inspire young people to celebrate nature on their own doorstep through the medium of photography and filmmaking. Born Free is a charity which is passionate about the welfare of wild animals. The founders include Virginia McKenna and her husband Bill Travers who starred in many wildlife films including the classic Born Free. For details of this fabulous charity and guidelines for their new competition, see bornfree.org.uk. Each award will have an 11 years and under winner and a 16 years and under winner.

Column  14th April 2021

Do you get on with your manager? I’ve had some fabulous managers but I also know what it’s like to have one who’s been promoted beyond their ability. Although everyone in an organisation is important, it matters who the managers are - particularly at the level of Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Their decisions influence the whole organisation. This week, there’s been changes at the top of two local animal centres. Firstly, a new CEO has been appointed at the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) to replace Clare Williams who has retired. The incoming CEO is Rob Mitchell who has been a General Manager with John Lewis.  He has also, in the past, fostered more than 50 dogs.

Secondly, Caroline Yates, CEO for 14 years at Mayhew, is stepping into a new position as Head of International Projects and Relations. Howard Bridges has become the interim CEO at Mayhew while a permanent replacement is recruited.

We wish these CEOs well in their new posts.

The third CEO we’re thinking about this week is Duncan McNair, CEO of Save The Asian Elephants (STAE). He’s also a prominent lawyer and local resident. It’s always useful to have a good lawyer on your side especially if, like many Asian elephants, you’re subjected to horrendous abuse. STAE tells how young elephants are snatched from their forest homes to supply tourist attractions, temples and festivals.

Their capture from the wild often entails slaughtering their mothers who try to protect them. The captured baby elephants are then subjected to the brutal practice known as pajan during which they are tied with ropes to prevent them moving, beaten, stabbed and deprived of food/water/sleep. This is designed to break their spirit and brutalise them into submission for easy commercial exploitation.

STAE’s campaign against these practices has included a mammoth petition and (remote) government meetings including at 10, Downing Street. STAE has tried hard to persuade hundreds of travel companies to change by presenting the awful evidence of abuse at venues they advertise. STAE is calling for a law to ban advertising and sales of cruel elephant-related “attractions” in the UK market, which sadly are still widely promoted. The Bill would promote genuine sanctuaries where elephants can be observed at a respectful distance.

As the result of public support for STAE, the government states it is now considering introducing such a law. For details and to sign the petition, go to stae.org. As CEO Duncan says, this needs to be a proper law with real teeth.

Column  21st April 2021

Column 28th April 2021

April 2021

Weekly column Subject Index