RSPCA CYMRU is reminding members of the public to consider the needs of pets, and the welfare of animals, as celebrations to welcome 2017 draw nearer.
Fireworks are a common part of New Year’s festivities – but many animals can find them deeply distressing, and RSPCA Cymru is reminding the public of the many practical steps which can be taken to help protect their welfare.
Pet owners have been urged to plan ahead, with action such as sound-proofing and the provision of safe enclosures all able to help reduce firework phobia among Wales’ companion animals.
Lisa Richards, RSPCA welfare expert, said: “As many of us celebrate the start of 2017, the festivities can also be stressful for many animals – including our pets. Fortunately, there are a lot of straightforward steps which people can take to help keep their pets safe, and to ease their pets fear of loud noises.
“From making sure dogs and cats are indoors when fireworks are likely to be set off, to masking firework noises, and providing pets with a safe place to hide at all times, it’s so important pet owners plan ahead.
“Small animals living outside should be provided with lots of extra bedding to allow for burrowing, whilst parts of their enclosure could be covered with a blanket to provide further sound-proofing and insulation.”
Farm animals and wildlife can also be negatively affected by fireworks. RSPCA Cymru continues to urge organisers of events to avoid letting off fireworks near where animals are housed.
The charity is also reminding people as to the possible dangers of using sky lanterns, as part of any New Year celebrations. They can cause injuries to animals which lead to suffering, and even a slow, painful death.
Paul Smith, RSPCA public affairs manager added: “Sky lanterns, commonly known as ‘Chinese lanterns’, present a significant danger to animals, and can cause injuries which lead to suffering and a slow, painful death.
“The fact a majority of Local Authorities in Wales has banned these devices on their land only highlights the danger they can pose.
“Risks to animals include ingestion, entanglement and entrapment; whilst lanterns can also cause fire, destroy habitats or damage animal housing and feed.
“Whilst sky lanterns may look pretty, people need to remember that what goes up, must come down – so, for animal’s sake, we’re urging the public to give sky lanterns a miss this New Year.”
Aberystwyth waste pilot launched
AN innovative pilot scheme has been launched in North Parade, Aberystwyth to help promote positive waste behaviours in the town centre.
The initiative sees communal wheelie bins being delivered to the pilot area on the afternoon before the usual scheduled waste collections. The bins provide a means of containing the waste for the time between it being presented and being collected. Protecting the waste from attack by animals, including seagulls, will help keep the town centre’s streets clean.
The new approach will also help support more local residents, especially those living in properties where space to store waste is limited, to make full use of the weekly recycling and food waste collection services. Reducing the amount of recyclable waste that goes into black bags is not only better for the environment but it also helps ensure it is dealt with in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
The days and frequency of waste collections will remain the same with wheelie bins being provided each week for clear recycling bags and food waste and fortnightly for black bags. Waste should be presented in the correct wheelie bin by 8am on the day collection.
Once the waste is collected the wheelie bins are removed which avoids problems that would arise if they were left there permanently which includes causing unnecessary street clutter and obstructions as well as potentially being misused and attracting fly-tipping.
Councillor Dafydd Edwards, the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services, said: “I am fully supportive of this initiative. It is an example of the Council working in partnership with communities on resolving issues. I wish the initiative every success and look forward in the future, to further working closely with our communities on finding creative solutions to the issues we are all concerned about.”
The scheme started on August 6-7. If it proves to be successful, consideration will be given to extending the pilot to other areas where it may work. Consideration is also being given to other ways of further supporting positive waste behaviours in Aberystwyth and Ceredigion in general ahead of a new domestic waste collection system that will be introduced in 2019.
Consultation on future of gas network for west Wales enters final week
Wales & West Utilities look after the pipes that bring gas to homes and businesses across Wales and the south west of England. The company has received almost 20,000 responses to its consultation but is now urging as many people as possible to take two minutes to pipe up and shape its plans for the future. Everyone who completes the consultation will be entered into a weekly draw to win a £100 Amazon Gift Card.
The company is asking people to give their views on issues such as the gas emergency service, investment to keep the gas network safe and reliable and how it supports those most in need. It is also seeking views on preparing the gas network for a greener future, making sure it can continue to deliver essential services for generations to come.
Wales & West Utilities charge for their services through consumer gas bills. Currently, their services make up 20% of an annual gas bill – so for the average gas bill of £630, that’s £128 a year – or 35 pence per day.
Graham Edwards, Chief Executive at Wales & West Utilities, explains: “The pipes we look after are mostly underground and out of mind, but we provide an essential service in keeping people safe and warm in their homes and powering businesses. Now, as we plan for the future, we want as many people in West Wales as possible to have their say on the future of their gas network and the services we provide.”
“We understand the financial pressure households across the area are under and we remain committed to keeping our portion of the gas bill to a minimum – we have already reduced the cost of our services since 2013 from £145 to £128 today.
“We’re looking forward to hearing customer feedback from West Wales as this will play a vital role in shaping our business for the future.”
Wales & West Utilities also connects around 11,000 homes and businesses to the network each year. And, for customers in need of extra support, the company has a scheme offering low-cost gas connections and financial help for appliance repairs. There is also a priority register to make sure people in vulnerable situations are prioritised when things go wrong.
To have your say on the future of your gas network and the services Wales & West Utilities provides please go to PipeUpOnline.co.uk or Facebook.com/wwutilities and be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.
Elin Jones welcomed to Gorsedd as ‘Elin Ceredigion’
AT THIS year’s National Eisteddfod, held in Cardiff Bay, Elin Jones, AM for Ceredigion, was welcomed into the Gorsedd.
The ceremony of the Gorsedd of the Bards is an integral part of the National Eisteddfod, and honours people who have made a significant contribution to the Welsh language and to Wales. Upon being admitted to the Gorsedd, the member is able to choose their ‘Bardic name’. Elin Jones has chosen to be known as Elin Ceredigion.
Elin Jones said: “It’s an honour to be admitted to the Gorsedd at this year’s National Eisteddfod, and to be known there as Elin Ceredigion.
“This was a very different and diverse National Eisteddfod. People from all over Wales and from many different cultures were able to see the Welsh Language thriving.
“The National Eisteddfod is important in whichever part of Wales it may be held. In two years’ time, it will be in Tregaron in Ceredigion which will be equally as exciting and important an Eisteddfod.
“The Gorsedd will next meet in Ceredigion in July 2019 – to proclaim the 2020 Ceredigion Eisteddfod.”
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