Pet rescues cost West Yorkshire fire service £30,000

Scores of accident-prone cats and dogs have driven West Yorkshire's firefighters animal crackers this year.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service have been called to 85 animal rescue's since last December- costing the service more than 30,000.

Details obtained by the YEP under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that calls this year have included a hapless dog stuck in a wine rack and a curious cat that had become trapped in a derelict former police station.

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Firefighters were also called to help a dog trapped in a car seat, another cat which needed freeing from behind a bath panel and a terrified kitten lodged in a tumble dryer exhaust pipe.

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In total, the fire service were called to save 63 dogs or cats, 11 birds, two sheep, five horses, three cows and one bull.

On average, each call out took one hour and the fire service said each call costs approximately 362.53.

A spokesman from the Chief Fire Officers Association CFOA said: "For many years UK firefighters have responded to a variety of rescues involving pets, livestock and wild animals.

"Animals in distress pose a potential serious risk to the public, members of other agencies and to firefighters. For the fire and rescue services public safety is paramount.

"This makes fire and rescue services wary of making a charge for rescuing animals as it may result in individuals attempting to carry out the rescue, thereby putting themselves in danger.

"If this should happen, the financial cost of rescuing the animal and would be rescuer may well be greater and may well have more serious implications."

He added: "In 2008 the Chief Fire Officers Association established the Animal Rescue Practitioners Forum. Fire and Rescue Services from across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are represented on this

forum. The forum is developing training standards for animal rescue, and a national protocol to improve the safety of personnel, the public and animals at incidents."

Sarah Champion MP

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