2011 Event Reports UK and Ireland

Here are a selection of reports and images of some of the World Animal Day Events that took place this year. On behalf of the animals with whom we share this planet, I thank everyone who participated and helped to make animal welfare issues front page news around the globe!
Location: Worldwide
Events: Vote for fabourite BBC Earth video
Hosted by: BBC Earth
Today all around the world, nature lovers and wildlife experts alike down their tools and rise to their feet to acknowledge and celebrate World Animal Day, and BBC Earth is no exception. To show its full support to World Animal Day 2011, BBC Earth inspired YOU, our wonderful community to acknowledge the animal kingdom and the important part it plays in our everyday lives by asking you to pick which of our three videos from the BBC Earth archives is your favourite out of: 1 – The amazing Lyre Bird 2 – David and the Sloth, and 3 – The private lives of the Cheetah brothers.

The response was overwhelming, so a big thank you to everyone who took part and showed their support for World Animal Day. The results were published on 6 October. Without further ado, the winner was …… The Superb Lyrebird. Link: BBC Earth – World Animal Day

Location: ENGLAND – Beenham, Berkshire
Events: Open Day
Hosted by: Wolf Conservation Trust
In celebration of World Animal Day, on Sunday 2nd October, the UK Wolf Conservation Trust once again opened its doors and held their last Open Day of 2011. Usually only open to members, 1000 members of the general public showed their support by coming through its gates! Image right: UK’s only Arctic wolves.

The weather was uncharacteristically hot, enticing family groups and visitors from all around the UK. As always, the wolves were centre stage and posed brilliantly for photography sessions for their adoring public. The public enjoyed listening to talks outside the enclosures and were especially enthusiastic at watching the Trust’s newest residents, the Beenham cubs and the UK’s only arctic wolves. Although the likes of the majestic Motomo were the main attraction and crowd pleaser, the wolves were not the only ones out on display. Ferrets, hedgehogs, birds of prey, reptiles and huskies were just some of the other animals that helped make the day so interesting for our visitors. Everyone seemed to love hugging a husky!

As well as admiring some of the magnificent animals onsite, there were lots of activities to keep the whole family busy, from pond dipping and nature trails, to getting creative in the Education Room and browsing for souvenirs on the Native American merchandise stalls. There was even a talk from award winning children’s author and Wolf Trust patron, Michelle Paver (see image below). Michelle is best known for her Chronicles of Ancient Darkness series and after her talk, stayed to sign books for fans. Image left: Lunca, a European wolf.

The day was a great success, seeing lots of smiling faces. The proceeds from the day will go towards projects all around the world, supported by the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, helping to keep wolves in the wild.
Danny Kidby-Hunter, Assistant Education Officer.

Location: ENGLAND – Sidmouth, Devon
Events: Memorial Day
Hosted by: The Donkey Trust
Memorial Day was held in early October to mark World Animal Day and the feast of St Francis of Assisi, the Patron Saint of Animals. During this day we remembered those people whose names are inscribed around the Sanctuary. Personal invitations were sent out to families with details of the service which was held by a local vicar and was then followed by a general blessing of memorials.Reed crosses were placed on each memorial for the day and flowers were placed over for the Memorial Day period. This was a very successful and heartwarming event. Nicola Russell, PR Assistant.

Location: KENT – Bromley
Events: Information Stall
Hosted by: Passive Pressure
Our intention for the day was to raise awareness of the alternatives to animal testing for medical research, and of the dangers of adverse effects on humans when using animal tested drugs/therapies.

We had an extremely productive day with members of the public approaching the stall as soon as we started to put our posters up. I had to dig about in our bags to quickly find leaflets and petitions to give them all! The stall was extremely well attended throughout, with people keen to learn more about the alternatives to animal testing for medical research. Having petitions to sign was an attraction and a prompt for people to donate. Considering the present financial climate, people were very generous.

While some of the group attended the stall and talked to interested passers-by, others wandered up and down the High Street giving out leaflets and chatting to anyone who showed an interest. Although there was the usual small percentage of public who believed animal testing was the only way, most of them listened to us and when we informed them that for humane research No One needs to suffer they would take our information to read at their leisure. Sowing seeds!

I find that every year when we run this stall it is more gratefully received by the public who are becoming more and more aware that animal testing is not the way forward to find cures for human diseases. This year was no exception, with all of the group feeling elated with the positive response from the public. We gave out almost all of our leaflets, about 500 of each, and were not able to dismantle the stall after our usual four hours as people were still approaching us for information. All in all it was a very productive day. Jan Yarker.

Location: ENGLAND – Birmingham
Events: Animal Church Service / Leaps and Bounds Appeal
Hosted by: RSPCA Birmingham
Animal Church Service – St Leonards Church in Frankley, Birmingham, had an animal friendly service on Sunday 2 October at 3pm, in aid of RSPCA Birmingham. People were encouraged to bring their pets and 11 dogs, 2 rabbits and 1 tortoise attended, and a fun day was had by all. Subjects covered were Repentance for human abuse of animals, thanks to God for animal companionship and a celebration of all God’s creatures. All funds collected went to RSPCA Leaps and Bounds Appeal to build a new hospital and rehoming centre in Birmingham.

Appeal Launch – We took over Victoria Square in Birmingham City Centre for the launch of the RSPCA Leaps and Bounds Appeal on 4th October – World Animal Day. We chose this date to launch as it is such a significant date in the animal calendar! The Appeal is tasked with raising £3million in 12months to build a flagship Animal Hospital and Rehoming Centre in Frankley, Birmingham.

We entertained passers-by with flyball and dog agility displays with commentary from Heart FM. The aim of the day was to raise awareness for the appeal and we received a lot of coverage on ITV Central news and BBC regional news slots, in addition to a feature by the Birmingham Mail. We signed up new volunteers and managed to raise nearly £700 through collection buckets on the day.

Our Appeal – The funds we raise over the coming 12months will be used to build a state of the art flagship Animal Hospital and Rehoming Centre in the heart of the country. Our current centre in Barnes Hill was built in 1962 and due to many years of wear and tear it is no longer fit for purpose.
In 2010 alone 7000 animals were rescued by our Inspectors in the Birmingham area and we treated 40,000 animals at our Hospital.

The current facilities are struggling with the demand for places. The funds raised by this appeal will enable us to provide veterinary treatment and ongoing care to more animals rescued from cruelty and abuse by our inspectors. The brand new centre will have state-of-the art veterinary theatres and provide rehoming opportunities for 160 cats and 60 dogs at any one time; in addition to rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, birds and other small animals. There will also be an education and training centre to teach the next generation of children how to look after animals and aim to prevent animal cruelty in the future.

This development is a vital resource for Birmingham to ensure we meet the increased demands for treatment and rehoming of all abused animals in our care. We need your help to make this dream a reality!

Bucket Collections on World Animal Day Rev. Richard Tibbs of St Leonards Church with the 2-legged and 4-legged congregation.
Our doggie attempting to jump an agility fence! Craig Osborne (Hospital Manager) John Hancock (Project Manager for the build) Animal Hospital Staff member dressed as doggie, Tim Scott (Chief RSPCA Inspector), Animal hospital Staff member with collection bucket & Becky Willby (Hospital Director)

Location: ENGLAND – Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Events: Small Mammals in Gosforth Park Nature Reserve NZ2570
Hosted by: Natural History Museum of Northumbria – Great North Museum: Hancock
This live trapping event had a two-fold purpose: as a field event for members and other naturalists, as part of the outputs of a grant funded by the OPAL Partnership, and as the first of a series of bi-annual surveys contributing to the national small mammal monitoring survey currently being conducted by the Mammal Society UK.

Fourteen people attended the event including 5 children. Procedure: 15 Longworth traps were pre-baited and positioned in the reserve on the edge of the reedbed. On 7th October, 22.00h, 10 traps were rebaited and set to catch overnight. The following morning at first light, (07.00h), these traps were checked, the contents identified and released at point of capture, and the traps rebaited and reset. Four of the five remaining traps were rebaited and set to catch. At 10.30h, all traps were lifted, and the contents identified and released. The traps were emptied. Results: First Check: 10 traps set caught 5 Bank voles (M. glareolus), 2 Woodmice (A. sylvaticus), 1 Pygmy Shrew (S.minutus). Second Check: 14 traps set caught 8 Bank Voles, 1 Water Shrew (N fodiens), 1 Common Shrew (S. araneus).

As always, the data from both trap rounds was recorded by visiting members of the group, to be sent to the local recording centre (ERIC) and the Mammal Society UK.

2 images to be added

Location: ENGLAND – London
Events: 2 x Animal and Nature Walks of London for World Animal Day
Hosted by: Animals Asia Founation – London Support Group
Our World Animal Day Walks went really well – more to follow.

Location: ENGLAND – Horsham
Events: Day of animal-themed activities
Hosted by: Early Years Childcare
Early Years Childcare in Horsham celebrated World Animal Day with a variety of different animal themed activities in each of the nursery rooms throughout the day.

Children aged between 6 months and 5 years took part in face painting, small world animal play, animal Play Doh modelling and the older children even making their very own animal-shaped biscuits, with the help of nursery cook, Marvin. The children discussed different animal and the relationships they have with animals at home and at nursery, including the nursery’s pet fish and giant snails. Natasha Richardson, Marketing Co-ordinator.

Location: Stourbridge
Events: Gaining an insight into the work of the RSPCA
Hosted by: Margot James MP

Margot James MP shadowed RSPCA Trainee Inspector Adrian Langley in support of World Animal Day.

The RSPCA were following up cases of suspected animal neglect or cruelty in Stourbridge. The first call took place in Wollescote where a large Japanese Akito was being kept in less than ideal conditions.

The situation did not seem to involve cruelty or neglect. Rather the dog was too big for the owners who had insufficient knowledge of the dog’s needs. Margot said “there was no doubt that the owner benefited from the advice given by Adrian who brings a huge amount of experience to his work as an ex Police dog handler.”

The next case was in Amblecote and must have been a case of mistaken identity as the eighteen month old Staffi cross was extremely well looked after and adored by her owners. She was however stronger than she looked and succeeded in bowling Margot over, literally.

Margot said “I had been very apprehensive about the secondment but in the event I saw two wonderful dogs that had good owners, despite having a dog of my own for fifteen years I learned a huge amount about dogs from Adrian. While we were out the sad case of a horse who had been found drowned in a canal came up on the radio, it is really tragic that some of these horses are so neglected by people who shouldn’t own them in the first place that they go into the canals in their desperation for water”.

ENGLAND- Margot James MP for Stourbridge celebrated World Animal day by spending time visiting homes with a local RSPCA Inspector. Margot has a great love of all animals and was delighted to be able to join the inspector and be given an insight into the work of the RSPCA Inspectors.

Location: WALES – Llandudno
Events: Animal Welfare Awareness Stall
Hosted by: Mike Bird – Naturewatch Supporter
We had a really good time, from 11.00 to almost 2.00pm outside Marks & Spencer in Mostyn Street, Llandudno on Saturday 1st October. We gave out hundreds of leaflets on all sorts of issues (e.g. factory farming, vivisection, climate change caused by meat farming, giving advice on how to be vegetarian and how to shop with kindness. We got a lot of support and filled a couple of petition sheets against the possible badger cull in Wales. Mike Bird.

Location: ENGLAND – Manchester
Events: Greyhound Awareness Day
Hosted by: Erin Hounds Rescue
Erin Hounds Sighthound Rescue charity held a Greyhound Awareness Day at Lush in Manchester. The rain came down so the dogs were welcomed into the shop where it was dry and looked very sweet through the window amongst the colourful toiletries. Plenty of people stopped to meet the dogs and several generous donations were gratefully accepted which will go towards rescuing and rehoming more of these gentle dogs.

Location: ENGLAND – Wellingborough
Hosted by: Rowan Gate Primary School
All classes at Rowan Gate did something special to mark World Animal Day this year. Grapes read stories about animals; Plums and Peaches looked at animal books and made fish collages; Pineapples went to Thurleigh Farm where they met different animals and fed them; Lemons and Bananas met lots of pets in their classroom. During Eco-club, Daniel from Plums class was matching the animals to the places where they’ll be happy to live. The images show the children from Pineapples class visiting Thurleigh Farm and feeding animals. Natalia Zemcugova, Eco-coordinator.

Location: ENGLAND – Leeds
Events: Hey, it’s World Animal Day Postcard Giveaway
Hosted by: Quill Cards
In the days running up to World Animal Day, we handed out 1,000 fabulous postcards for people to put on their walls or post to a friend which includes a message to go to the World Animal Day website and show support. David Bennett and Tamara Colloff-Bennett Quillcards.com.