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RSPCA deal with more than 16,000 lockdown incidents in North West

THE RSPCA has answered almost 1 million calls since the start of lockdown 1 year ago, and Officers across the North West have dealt with 16,319 incidents. The charity has had to adapt the way it works to comply with lockdown rules and social distancing, but has continued to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals during the Pandemic. 1 year on, the RSPCA is looking back on some of the amazing achievements, despite challenging times.

Chief executive Chris Sherwood said:- "The last year has been incredibly difficult for individuals, for families, for businesses, for charities and for animals. But I'm incredibly proud of the work the RSPCA has managed to do during this challenging year. We've had to adapt how we work, change our procedures, review our practices, and all while we continue our vital everyday work rescuing, rehabilitating, re-homing and releasing animals, and investigating animal cruelty. Since 23 March 2020, the RSPCA has been busy answering emergency calls, rescuing animals in urgent need, investigating reports of animal cruelty and neglect, taking in abandoned animals, and re-homing rehabilitated animals to wonderful new families. Across England and Wales, the charity received 958,352 calls to the hotline; dealt with 253,714 urgent incidents; and took 23,228 animals into care at our National Centres, Hospitals and private boarding partners."

The charity's inspectors and animal rescue Officers were designated key workers and continued to respond to emergencies and urgent calls, as well as rescuing animals in need.

Across the North West , inspectors and animal rescue Officers dealt with:-

Cumbria = 931 incidents.

Lancashire = 3,774 incidents.

Greater Manchester = 5,858 incidents.

Merseyside = 3,269 incidents.

Cheshire = 2,487 incidents.

Rescues included:-

Rescuing a newborn calf who was drowning in a muddy bog in Greater Manchester, on 31 May 2020.

Rescuing a huge red stag who was tangled in fencing and had fallen into a river in Cumbria, in December 2020.

Taking in a guinea pig who was found abandoned in the snow in January, in Lancashire.

Freeing a trapped coot and releasing him back to his family in Cheshire, in June 2020.

Rescuing a swan stuck in the ice 1 a lake in Merseyside, in January.

RSPCA Officers and local branches teamed up to support food banks in Lancashire by donating pet food for struggling families.

The charity's Hospitals; including Greater Manchester Animal Hospital; continued to provide emergency Vet Care, the Call Centre continued to answer calls and staff at its 14 animal centres, 4 wildlife centres and branches continued to care for the animals in their care.

The society has had to adapt its ways of working in order to adhere with the Government's ever changing guidance including changing the way it rehomed. In order to adhere to social distancing and avoid unnecessary travel, the charity has been virtually re-homing and delivering pets to their new homes, with thousands of animals going off to new homes and foster families since 23 March 2021.

The RSPCA celebrated a number of victories during lockdown including the Agriculture Bill which received Royal Assent in November 2020 meaning farmers will receive payments for higher welfare standards, and statutory footing of the Trade and Agriculture Commission, ensuring independent animal welfare advice is central to future trade policies.

The RSPCA's campaigns and public affairs teams also celebrated the Government's commitments to implement a ban on the private keeping of primates and compulsory microchipping of cats. After years of lobbying, the UK and Welsh Governments proposed ending live animal exports for slaughter, the use of wild animals in circuses was banned in Wales, and a ban on 3rd party sales of puppies and kittens came into force in England in April 2020.

The charity has also seen big changes to fundraising. With the London Marathon cancelled and the RSPCA's annual 1 Fun Day shelved, the charity's events team decided to host a virtual event with animal themed online sessions and the worlds' 1st ever live Zoom pet show. The team is now planning another home pet show, on 19 June 2021. Find out how to get involved at:- RSPCA.Org.UK.

Chris added:- "Over the past 12 months we've demonstrated our commitment to animals and shown that, despite the hardships we face, we will always be there for the animals who need us. But the Pandemic has hit us hard; we've had to change how we work, suspend door to door fundraising and cancel fundraising events. The charity sector has been hit hard by the Pandemic so we're asking the public to get behind us, to donate, and to help us continue our vital work; together we can make this a better world for animals."

To donate to the RSPCA and help us continue our vital work rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing animals, releasing wildlife and investigating animal cruelty please donate by visiting:- RSPCA.Org.UK.

1 year climate plan reveals immediate action to be taken as Liverpool City Region strives to be zero carbon by 2040

DOZENS of immediate actions to tackle the Climate Emergency are highlighted in a 1 year plan set to be approved by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The Year 1 Climate Action Plan was drawn up to ensure:- 'opportunities for early action are not missed' as the City Region strives to become zero carbon by 2040. The Combined Authority declared a Climate Emergency in June 2019 and set an ambitious goal to become carbon neutral 10 years ahead of the UK target. It will be asked to approve the Year 1 Climate Action Plan, at its meeting, on 19 March 2021. Numerous environmental schemes are already underway and many more are planned as the City Region seeks to Build Back Greener from the Coronavirus Pandemic. The Combined Authority's aim is for a:- 'climate in all policies' approach. The Year 1 Climate Action Plan reveals emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide reduced by 40% in the Liverpool City Region between 2005 and 2018. Industrial and domestic discharges fell significantly, but transport emissions, while lower than in 2005, have risen since 2013. The number of miles travelled by motor vehicles also increased in the 3 years up to 2019; with cars accounting for the largest share. As a result, transport and clean air schemes feature prominently in the comprehensive 82 point plan. Waste, infrastructure and sustainable energy projects are also included along with policy, planning and collaboration. The plan accepts choices made by individuals are vital to avoiding a climate emergency so includes education as well as an active travel campaign to encourage walking and cycling. Individual choices will also be helped by strategic and infrastructure initiatives involving:- transport, waste, land use, energy and heat.

The Year 1 Climate Action Plan features projects that will either start, continue or finish during 2021/2022 and includes:-

Progressing the Mersey Tidal project.

Purchasing 20 hydrogen fuelled double decker buses.

A campaign to encourage Active Travel.

Completing battery trials on the new, state of the art trains for the Merseyrail network.

Identifying ways to help residents move to electric vehicles affordably.

Continued delivery of 52.8km of cycle lanes and habitat improvements.

Investing ₤11.38m to make around 1,120 homes more energy efficient.

Securing gains in biodiversity through planting and habitat creation and management.

Developing a Zero Waste 2040 strategy including plans to reach 55% re-use and recycling by 2025.

The Combined Authority and its partners have already made major strides towards the vision of a globally competitive, environmentally responsible and socially inclusive City Region. These include:- recent housing strategies and an air quality action plan along with new electric buses, investing ₤1.26m in low carbon solutions, developing the Mersey Tidal Power project, improvements to the cycling and walking infrastructure, investing ₤500m in a brand new fleet of efficient electric trains, introducing hydrogen buses and funding 10 environmental projects through the Combined Authority's Future Innovation Fund to be completed in 2021.

In February this year, Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram also revealed 58 projects that are benefiting from the ₤500,000 Community Environment Fund. Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:- "The Pandemic might have dominated our attention over the past year, but the climate emergency remains the biggest long term challenge our Region; and our planet; faces. Since I was elected, I've made tackling climate change a priority. We were the 1st combined Authority in the country to declare a climate emergency, have invested millions in green projects and have developed ambitious plans to be 0 carbon by 2040; a whole decade ahead of national targets. But I want to go further. This plan sets out the things we're doing to tackle climate change and improve the environment in our area over the next 12 months. We still have a long way to go, but this will be a big 1st step."

The Year 1 Climate Action Plan was developed with the help of Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership and is centred around nine themes that are aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Liverpool City Region has also teamed up with Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and other Local Authorities and local enterprise partnerships to set out the North West 's zero carbon 2040 vision ahead of the UN's Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November this year.

The Year 1 plan is due to start next month with publication of a long term Climate Action Plan in November 2021. Gideon Ben Tovim, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership and of Nature Connected, said:- "The climate and ecological emergency is exactly what it says; an emergency; and that means the time for action is now. We're consulting widely as we form our detailed plan to become zero carbon, by 2040. This 1 year plan will guide our on going activities and provide focus for the urgent task ahead."

Deputy Portfolio Holder for Low Carbon and Renewable Energy, and Vice Chair of the Climate Partnership, Councillor Gillian Wood added:- "We've made great progress towards reducing carbon dioxide emissions but we're still a long way from where we need to be. The climate threat is very real and very urgent and this document provides an excellent plan of activity for the next year as we relentlessly pursue our target of being a net zero carbon City Region by 2040."


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