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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 5th May 2021

Column  12th May 2021

Now we know. H is not who we expected. From having watched no episodes at all of Line of Duty, I’ve watched them all in a few days (I’ve been ill). I could now go on Mastermind with AC-12 as my specialist subject. But it seems to me there are parallels between police series such as Line of Duty and animal rescue.

Firstly, many who are concerned about animal welfare are, like the police, engaged in surveillance. This may be ordinary everyday surveillance such as looking out for animals in need when we are out and about but, for a few, it also means covert surveillance. One organisation who has, in the past, engaged in undercover investigations is Animal Equality. As the result of one such operation, they have been in the news this week. They have just published video footage of extreme suffering on a pig farm which sends pigs to an abattoir supplying well-known retailers.  Atrocities exposed included piglets killed by being hammered to death or swung against a concrete floor. As the result of their surveillance, they hope perpetrators of this cruelty will meet “the full force of the law”.  You can see the video at animalequality.org.uk.

Of course, those guilty of criminal activity need to receive appropriate punishment. For animals, there was good news on this front, this week. The Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act that we recently talked about (Gazette March 31) became law on April 29. This means the maximum penalty for certain animal cruelty offences has, at last, increased from six months to five years. As Ted Hastings from Line of Duty would say, “Now we’re cooking with gas”.

Important to both police dramas and animal welfare is having a solid knowledge base about what is lawful and how things should be done. To help pet owners get things right, Mayhew has recently launched an Advice Hub where pet owners can find information on a variety of topics relating to pet care. Look the hub up at themayhew.org.

Finally, police dramas usually end with a cliffhanger. There’s plenty of cliffhangers in animal rescue. Just ask animals in trouble who were only saved just in time and those, like the unwanted piglets, who weren’t.

In police dramas, the cliffhanger may involve an officer needing immediate assistance. A “status zero”.  Animals too, can need immediate assistance. That’s why it can be useful to have emergency numbers ready in our phone. For starters, the RSPCA number for urgent help is 0300 1234 999.

Column 19th May 2021

Is your partner the person of your dreams? Are you living the life you’ve always wanted?  One person’s dream life could be another’s nightmare. For some people opening an animal sanctuary would be a dream come true. For others, living with a trio of happy Staffies would be all they ever wanted.

If you have a soft spot for Staffies, this could be your moment.  Three Staffordshire Bull Terriers who have been together all their lives have come into the care of the National Animal Welfare Trust (NAWT) after their elderly owner could no longer care for them. Coco, Louis and Ralph are adorable. When I met them, three little faces lined themselves up in a row to say hello.  Each waited patiently for their turn and a (politely-taken) treat. They know their place in the group. Ralph is the boldest. Louis can be a little anxious but looks to his sister, Coco, for reassurance. They walk well on the lead and spend most of the day wanting cuddles. If you’re interested in adopting this wonderful family, see nawt.org.uk.

Now for a message from the Manager of the rehoming Centre, Jackie De Friez.  She wants us to know they can’t wait for the centre to re-open to the public. They are waiting for government permission but are hoping for late June.

In many people’s dreams, there would be no suffering in the world – animal or human. To help achieve this, in relation to animals, two documents have been published this month.

Firstly, fifty animal welfare groups have combined to produce “No Animal Left Behind”. With an introduction by Chris Packham, this document highlights the increasing realisation that animal and human welfare and the environment are all interconnected.

It’s an animal welfare strategy which contains forty recommendations for improving animals’ lives.

Secondly, yesterday, the government launched “Our Action Plan for Animal Welfare” which sets out their aims for animal welfare domestically and internationally. Many issues in both these documents we have already talked about here such as the need to ban the keeping of primates as pets but others are new such as the creation of an Animal Sentience Committee which will look at how government policy impacts animal welfare.

For some, these documents will not go far enough but they are steps in the right direction. Without changes such as these, the life of many animals such as farm animals, far from being a dream, will continue to be the nightmare that it is.

Column  26th May 2021

This photo was taken at Hyde Park last week. For those who haven’t been to Hyde Park recently it’s still magnificent. Boats on the lake and a beautiful swan nestling on the edge of the Serpentine. Except the swan was surrounded by litter.

The RSPCA receive 14 calls a day about animals affected by litter. But, as some animals will be taken directly to a vets and many wild animals are never found, the number of animals injured by litter is much higher.

Everyday items that seem safe can become hazardous when found accidentally by animals. They can climb inside plastic bags and suffocate or attempt to eat them and choke. Discarded masks can wrap round an animal’s feet and elastic bands round the beak of a bird. Animals can become entangled in plastic can holders, broken glass cuts paws and animals can get trapped in jars. In order to prevent such suffering, when we are out and about, we must do the decent thing and never leave litter behind. And, wherever we are, we must always dispose of our waste responsibly by recycling, reusing or putting in the bin.

In order to address the disgusting amount of litter in some of our public places, the Great British Spring Clean takes place between May 28 and June 13. Organised by Keep Britain Tidy, this charity is on a mission to eliminate litter and end waste. Although encouraging us to take part either as an individual or small group, they emphasise that if we participate we must take adequate health and safety precautions and follow regulations including current government Covid guidelines. To see their advice and find out how to participate, go to keepbritaintidy.org.  They want everyone who takes part to tell them how much they collected, what kind of litter it was and how it felt to take part.

June is a busy month. It’s also the time of year for The Wildlife Trusts’ “30 Days Wild”. In order to help us appreciate and enjoy nature and wildlife, for each day in June, The Wildlife Trusts challenge participants to do one wild thing a day. By this, they mean a simple, fun random act of wildness such as helping insects by planting wildflower seeds, listening for birdsong and learning the calls, attempting a plastic-free day or even sketching a swan. When you sign up, you get a free pack full of inspirational ideas to help plan your activities.  For details of how to take part see wildlifetrusts.org.

May 2021

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