Animal rescues fall in Barking and Dagenham after fire brigade campaign

Stev the foal afet being rescued by firefighters. Picture: London Fire Brigade

Stev the foal afet being rescued by firefighters. Picture: London Fire Brigade - Credit: Archant

Despite a string of horse-related rescues earlier this year, new figures show firefighters are getting less animal rescue calls.

Fire crews made just 10 animal rescues in Barking and Dagenham this year, compared with 12 last year, according to figures released by the London Fire Brigade following a campaign to reduce the number of calls to firefighters.

Across London however, the decline has been far greater with just 282 animal rescues made this year compared with 650 from 2011 to 2012.

London Fire Brigade group manager, Mark Hazelton, said: “As well as being time consuming, animal rescues cost the taxpayer and I’m sure most people would prefer their money was being spent on training or fire prevention work, than cats up trees.”

Half of the calls to firefighters in Barking and Dagenham this year were to rescue cats who had become stuck in trees.

Dagenham station is one of only four crews in the capital trained in large animal rescue and in April they pulled a foal called Steve to safety after he fell into a moat before re-homing him at Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Norfolk.

The public are advised to ring the RSPCA if they see an animal in difficulty rather than dialing 999.

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