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Council defends ordering lynx killing

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FOLLOWING the killing of Lillith the escaped Lynx from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom on Friday night (Nov 10), Ceredigion County Council has defended the actions.

The lynx had missing from the zoo since October 29 and had been spotted in populated areas before the decision to kill it was made.

In response, Borth Wild Animal Kingdom said they were ‘truly devastated and outraged’ by the decision.

A spokesperson for Ceredigion County Council said: “The decision to authorise the putting down of the Eurasian Lynx that recently escaped from Borth Wild Animal Kingdom was an operational one taken after receiving expert advice, based on the level of risk to members of the public. All options for dealing with the escaped Lynx had been considered prior to the decision being taken on what was agreed to be a proportionate, reasonable and swift course of action.

“The decision to proceed was taken with the support of Heddlu Dyfed Powys Police, the Welsh Government and the Chief Veterinary Officer for Wales. The Lynx had been on the loose for more than two weeks, was known to have moved away from the proximity of the zoo. The Lynx has also encroached on a populated area, but was not afraid of humans.

“It was not possible to assess the condition or temperament of the Lynx but there were concerns about its likely behavioural response if it was startled or inadvertently confronted by a member of the public, especially by a young child. It must be remembered that the Lynx is classified in legislation as ‘dangerous and wild’ and the authorities were dealing with an unmanaged, escape situation.

“When the operational arrangements were being considered, the issue of tranquilising the creature were specifically discussed. Due to the nature of the terrain and vegetation in the area, the time it would take for the sedative to take effect and the uncertainty of how the Lynx would react, the expert advice was that tranquilising the Lynx was not an option. On other occasions and in different circumstances it may be fitting to attempt to tranquilise an escaped animal but, based on the factors involved with this incident, it was decided that it was not appropriate.

“The advice of the Council’s expert veterinary practitioner and the position of the Chief Veterinary Officer was certain in this regards. While the Council would have wished for a different outcome to this incident, to protect public safety, the Council had no option other than to take decisive action.

“An investigation has commenced into the circumstances surrounding the escape of the Lynx, to establish whether there have been any breaches of the operating licence and other related matters. While enquiries are ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment further on the circumstances surrounding this matter.”

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Stand up for slowing down speed campaign launched

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INAPPROPRIATE speed contributes to around 11% of all injury collisions reported to the police, with 15% of collisions resulting in a serious injury and 24% of collisions resulting in fatalities.

Starting on the 26th July, the National Police Chief Council (NPCC) Speed Campaign will kick off across the UK, with GoSafe and the four Welsh Police Forces participating in both engaging with the public about the risks of speeding and enforcing the speed limits on the roads of Wales.

In 2019, 60,073 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) were issued in Wales to drivers/riders for speeding.

Speeding is a major contributing factor to collisions on the roads of Wales. This includes both ‘excessive speed’, where the speed limit is exceeded, as well as driving or riding within the speed limit when this is too fast for the conditions at the time; for example, in poor weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, we saw less traffic but higher speeds.  Now our restrictions are lifting, traffic volumes are up and as we are holidaying in the UK more, we are seeing more people speeding on the roads in Wales.  We want to change this, but can only do that with your help.

 Over the next few weeks you will see an increased presence on the road network of Wales as we aim to keep all road users safe and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.

 We know that the majority of road users comply with the speed limit; but the minority of those who do not increases the risk to the safety of all road users and need to be educated on the risks to their own safety as well as to the safety of those around them. Throughout this campaign, GoSafe and our partners in the Police and Local Authorities will encourage and educate more people to reduce their speed to save lives.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “GoSafe enforce at sites across Wales in order to encourage motorists to comply with the speed limits and in turn make our roads and communities safer for everyone. If we all play our part and stand up for slowing down we can make a difference, and we can save lives on the roads of Wales.”

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change said: “I am very pleased to support this campaign. Driving at high speeds costs lives and a greater police presence on our roads will mean motorists will be more likely to drive within the speed limits, protecting lives and avoiding a speeding fine.”

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Cardigan man accused of murder in court

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John Williams Bell was found murdered in Cardigan

A CARDIGAN man who is accused of stabbing a man to death has appeared in court today (Jul 28).

Ashley Keegan, 22, of Golwyg y Castell, Cardigan, appeared before court via video link where he spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

Swansea crown court heard how Keegan is accused of stabbing 37-year-old John Williams Bell seven times in the back.

Mr Bell’s body was discovered in the early hours of Wednesday Morning, July 21, on the road to Cardigan Bridge.

The court set a provisional trial date for January 3, 2022.

Keegan will remain remanded into custody until the trial.

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Suspected drink driver tracked for two miles by police dog

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A SUSPECTED drink driver was arrested after a police dog tracked him for two miles along a cycle path.

Dyfed-Powys Police dog Storm and his handler PC Mike Barnsley located the driver following a collision between Bont and Tregaron on Sunday, July 25.

Officers had attended the scene of the collision, discovering that a car had hit a tree and overturned – however, the driver was not present.

PC Barnsley said: “There were concerns that the driver could have been injured due to the significant damage to the car, so a search was immediately launched to find them.

“With PD Storm, I focussed on the cycle path running alongside the road, where Storm picked up a track and followed it for around two miles.

“Local response units accessed the cycle path ahead of us, while another unit searched from the main road along an unclassified road in the same direction.”

PC Barnsley and Storm reported a sighting of a man on the cycle path, and he was stopped and arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

Sergeant David Hawksworth said: “This was an excellent demonstration of teamwork and coordination by officers, whose good local knowledge resulted in the suspect being swiftly found and arrested.”

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