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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 3rd November 2021

If I could sew, I’d make myself a coat in the colours of this goose. Now the climate change conference Cop26 has arrived, it seems a good time to pay another visit to the wonderful Wetland Centre at Barnes where they have twelve of these red-breasted geese – all looking suitably stunning. Just as rainforests are the lungs of the planet, then wetlands are the lifeblood. But they are under threat including from climate change.

There is so much to see at the Centre – especially with a pair of powerful binoculars. It’s the size of 70 football pitches and is home to a huge variety of wildlife.  Wetlands are ecosystems that are either permanently or seasonally covered with water. They provide a home for many endangered species and act as a “service station” for millions of migratory birds to rest and refuel. We all need a break on a long journey.

At least 40% of the world’s plants and animals depend on wetlands but, since 1970, over a third of the world’s wetlands have disappeared.

Threats to wetlands come from, for example, pollution, land being drained for development and climate change.  Humans have contributed to climate change by the use of fossil fuels and aeroplanes and by deforestation. It’s expected that, as the result of climate change, the UK will experience warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers and more frequent and intense weather extremes. The effect of such changes will include flooding and loss of biodiversity.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) work hard to limit the effects on wildlife from the many threats they face. Saving the red-breasted goose has been one of their priority projects. The numbers of these beautiful geese crashed from 90,000 to less than 30,000 at the start of the 21st century. They breed in Arctic Russia and fly 3500 miles to places such as Bulgaria for the Winter but they face risks all along the way. Due to conservation work, their classification level has now moved from “Endangered” to “Vulnerable”.  But, with global warming, the Arctic tundra where they breed is at risk of warming up and numbers could again plummet.

If you would like to see London’s fabulous wetlands and find out how you can help their wildlife and also how wetlands can be part of the solution to climate change, visit the WWT Wetland Centre at Barnes (wwwt.org.uk).

Until January 9, there is also an evening light trail at the Centre called Illuminature. For this, you need to pre-book online.

Column 10th November 2021

While writing this, I’m sitting in a sparkly car show room where it all looks immaculate and perfect. The last time I was here, it was exactly the same except when I wanted to go to the loo, they told me there was a problem with the plumbing and I would have to flush it with a bucket. Beware of that which looks good on the outside but is not so sparkly on the inside.

Ebony doesn’t have that problem. Dogs Trust say that Ebony “is a truly beautiful girl on the inside and out”. What a wonderful description.  But, if you look at her carefully you can see a clue she’s not had an easy life. Yes, she has cropped ears. Dogs wouldn’t be born with ears if they were meant to be cut off. We’ll return to ear cropping later, let’s concentrate on Ebony first.

Ebony is a crossbreed who originally came from Romania. Since being in the care of Dogs Trust Harefield her confidence has greatly improved. She adores her favourite people and loves having cuddles from them.  Ebony prefers human company over the company of other dogs so would prefer a home without neighbouring dogs. She would also like her new owners to be around for most of the day to continue her socialisation. If you’re interested in offering Ebony a loving home, see details at dogstrust.org.uk.

Now back to cropped ears. Dogs have ears for a reason. They don’t just use them for hearing but also for communicating. Sadly, some people think certain dogs should have their ears altered to make them look more intimidating. Ear cropping is a painful process which is illegal in the UK.

Despite being illegal, animal charities report increasing numbers of dogs with cropped ears coming into their care. This can be due to animals being sent abroad to have their ears cropped or dogs being imported with their ears already cropped.

Supported by Dogs Trust, the government wants to ban the import of dogs with cropped ears and have just conducted a consultation into this issue.  There is concern by some charities who rescue animals from abroad about a complete ban as it could stop some needy dogs being rehomed here but we will have to wait for the consultation results to see if there are any well-regulated exemptions. Many animal organisations say it has to be a complete ban in order to avoid any loopholes which would be exploited by those up to no good.

Column 17th November 2021

Before I go to a meeting, I often say to myself “While I’m there, is there anybody I need to see?” To which I often think “No, but there’s plenty I want to avoid”.

Getting on with others is important, not just for humans but also for many animals as they interact with each other. Unfortunately for Suki, a Siberian Husky, she’s not good with meeting other dogs. She has been under-socialised since she was a puppy and isn’t sure how to interact with them. Suki is currently in the care of Dogs Trust Harefield who are looking for new owners who can help Suki socialise with other dogs. She is very beautiful, extremely fluffy and has lots of energy.  If you think you could offer Suki a loving home, see her details at dogstrust.org.uk. Her new owners should be experienced with Huskies or be knowledgeable about the breed.

Besides rehoming animals, an important strand of Dogs Trust’s work is campaigning to improve the lives of dogs. A key campaign they’ve been involved with is to call on the government to end puppy smuggling. This is the practice whereby puppies are brought into the country with either no or falsified paperwork and often without receiving the necessary treatments and vaccinations. The puppies travel for long periods in squalid, cramped conditions with no toilet breaks, no food and insufficient water. They are then sold to unsuspecting buyers who often pay large sums of money for what turns out to be a sick animal.

Peggy is just one example of a smuggled pup who came into Dogs Trust’s care.  Found in the back of a van terrified and drenched in engine oil, Peggy’s fur had to be shaved off and she had to wear a jumper to keep warm.

Currently going through parliament is The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill which would make puppy smuggling more difficult. It’s currently at the Committee stage and Dogs Trust is amongst those animal charities being called to give evidence. We need to keep our eye on this Bill as it deals with other topics we talk about here such as the need to ban the keeping of primates as pets. The Bill isn’t perfect but it’s a start.

Meanwhile if you’re thinking of getting a puppy and want to avoid being the victim of pet smugglers then have a look at Dogs Trust’s puppy-buying advice at dogstrust.org.uk. And remember always ask to see the puppy with its mum.

Column 24th November 2021

November 2021

Weekly column Subject Index