Deer rescue: Policy questioned

SIR, — On Saturday, February 21 I saw a young stag being mauled by a lurcher dog on the road next to the recently renovated East Mill at the bottom of Whorral Bank, Morpeth.

Fortunately, I was able to get the dog off the deer but it leapt into a narrow, steep trench which runs into the housing development. It was badly injured, bleeding and in shock.

The Police soon arrived and contacted the Fire Service, a vet and the RSPCA to request help. None were able to come.

The Police then requested help from The Sanctuary Wildlife Centre who arrived soon afterwards and they were able, with help from myself and many concerned members of the public, to lift the deer over 8ft up and out of the trench into a Police body bag to rest on the embankment.

At this point the RSPCA arrived and announced that it should be humanely destroyed, before the animal had even been examined to assess the severity of its injuries. The Inspector refused to help to transport the animal to the wildlife centre, saying that wild animals do not survive in captivity. He stated that the RSPCA policy was that unless a wild animal can be released on site, it should be humanely destroyed.

Frankly those at the scene were appalled by a decision to destroy an animal before it had been examined — a decision made on policy alone and one that undoubtedly saves money on transportation, vets bills, feed bills etc.

I understand now why small rescue centres are struggling financially and the large animal welfare organisations have money in the bank. One has got the cash and the other has got the animals in care.