RSPCA warns of effect of flooding to grazing animals

PUBLISHED: 11:07 31 October 2008 | UPDATED: 09:55 10 June 2010

The RSPCA is warning farmers and horse owners in Devon to be aware of the potential dangers of recent flooding to grazing animals.

The RSPCA is warning farmers and horse owners in Devon to be aware of the potential dangers of recent 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 animal charity said.

Since Thursday's flooding the RSPCA has received reports of livestock at apparent risk of flooding in Otterton, Axminster, Exeter, Ottery St Mary and Cullompton.

RSPCA staff have been assessing the reports to see what action, if any, needs to be taken.

The animal charity said 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. "Flood water 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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