Fears for Ottery sheep brings RSPCA warning

PUBLISHED: 15:33 30 October 2008 | UPDATED: 11:31 17 June 2010

WITH REPORTS today of more than 500 sheep feared dead after severe flooding in the Ottery St Mary area, the RSPCA is warning farmers and horse owners to be aware of the potential dangers of flooding to grazing animals.

WITH REPORTS today of more than 500 sheep feared dead after severe flooding in the Ottery St Mary area, the RSPCA is warning farmers and horse owners to be aware of the potential dangers of flooding to grazing animals.

Horses, sheep and cattle are increasingly at risk as the waters rise in low-lying fields. More rain is forecast for the next few days and is likely to add to the region's flooding problems.

The RSPCA received reports of livestock at apparent risk of flooding in Ottery St Mary, Otterton, Axminster, Exeter and Cullompton.

Staff are currently assessing the reports to see what action, if any, needs to be taken.

Animals owners should also be aware that the rising waters might submerge feed and fresh water. Livestock in affected areas should be moved onto higher ground and provided with a shelter or stable at all times.

RSPCA regional manager Jonathan Silk, said: "The RSPCA are asking owners of horses and livestock in areas prone to floods to be more vigilant and move their animals to higher ground if necessary.

"Floodwater can rise rapidly causing severe distress to trapped animals - we ask members of the public to contact us if they see an animal in danger from floods."

To protect other domestic animals from severe weather conditions, owners are also advised to:

* Move outdoor pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs indoors to a garage or shed

* Keep all domestic pets indoors and upstairs if necessary

* Ensure dogs are accompanied at all times when outside.

Anybody who sees an animal in distress is asked to ring the RSPCA cruelty and information line on (0300) 1234 999 with as much information as possible.

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