RSPCA CYMRU has issued a further reminder to members of the public to ensure their pets are kept safe as part of any Guy Fawkes Night celebrations.
Many animals can find fireworks scary, with an estimated 45 per cent of dogs showing signs of fear when they hear fireworks.
There are, however, many practical and straightforward steps which members of the public can take to help keep their pets safe at this time of year.
By planning in advance, pet owners can help their pet deal with fireworks phobia.
Lisa Richards, RSPCA welfare expert, said: “Bonfire night is a stressful time for many pets.
“However, firework phobia is a treatable condition. There are ways to help your pets learn to be less afraid of loud noises.
“Planning ahead and speaking to your vet about the options available is a great start.
“There are also some simple things worried owners can do to help their pets cope, including, making sure dogs and cats are indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off, trying to mask the noise of the fireworks by turning on the TV or music, and providing pets with a safe place to hide at all times.
“Small animals that live outside should have lots of extra bedding so they can burrow and some of their enclosure could be covered by a blanket for extra insulation and sound-proofing.”
It is not just companion animals that are affected by fireworks, with farm animals and wildlife often negatively affected. RSPCA Cymru has urged organisers of firework events to avoid letting off fireworks in places nearby to where animals may be housed; and to check for wildlife before lighting bonfires.
The RSPCA produces advice, guidance and other materials for members of the public about the steps they can take to help pets feel safe at this time of year. These are available online.
If you would like to help the RSPCA, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).
Man denies £7,000 burglary
A MAN from West Sussex has today denied carrying out a £7,000 burglary in Lampeter.
Kurtis Poat, aged 23, appeared at Swansea Crown Court for a plea and trial preparation hearing before Judge Paul Thomas.
Poat, of Osborne Crescent, Chichester, denied breaking into a house in Nantyglyn, Cwmann, in May, 2017, and stealing a tin containing £7,000 in cash.
Poat faces a two day trial scheduled to begin on April 11 and was granted bail until then.
Campaigners urge air gun licensing following cat shootings
CATS PROTECTION is urging the UK’s cat lovers to join a call on the Westminster government to introduce air gun licensing in Wales and England, following in the footsteps of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without licence.
The government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulation, including licensing, which closes on February 6, making this the ideal time for cat lovers to make their voices heard by sending an e-mail to the Home Office.
To take part people should visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsult
Victims of air gun shootings include Jalapeno, a black-and-white cat from Bridgend who was shot in the eye, and Chaos, a black-and-white cat from South Wales who was shot between her eyes, shattering the bones in her nose.
Luckily both Jalapeno and Chaos survived their injuries after receiving emergency veterinary care.
However, in March 2017, a cat from Barry was fatally shot, as was a cat from Llanell in August 2017.
“Shocking air gun attacks like the ones on Jalapeno and Chaos are by no means rare,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations.
“Our monitoring of UK press reports shows that three cats are killed or injured by an air gun each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported. Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in Wales and England where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.
“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”
Cats Protection believes that if licensing were introduced, it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats.
The charity wants to ensure that cats in Wales and England are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.
Jacqui added: “Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in Wales and England, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue. Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.
Police crack down on drink and drug driving
NEARLY 100 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police for drink and drug driving in December, as a result of the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign.
The month-long operation against driving under the influence ran from Friday, December 1, and police forces across the country used intelligence-led tactics and local knowledge of hotspots to detect people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol over the festive period.
98 people were arrested by Dyfed-Powys Police.
Supt. Huw Meredith, Specialist Operations, said: “We adopt a proactive, targeted and intelligence-led approach to drink and drug driving, using specialist Roads Policing resources and response officers.
“The number of arrests indicates that sadly some are prepared to risk the lives of others and themselves by driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
“Our message is the same all year round – don’t drink/take drugs and drive.”
In 2017 Dyfed-Powys Police arrested 452 people for drink and drug driving.
Operation Snap also launched in December, allowing members of the public throughout Wales to submit footage and images showing traffic offences being committed – from driving dangerously or carelessly to contravening solid white lines, using a mobile phone while driving or ignoring traffic lights.
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