Fire service spends ‘millions’ on animal rescue

Fire crews around the UK have spent approximately £6 million on animal rescues between 2014-2016 according to data seen by the BBC following an FOI request.

Crews have been called to deal with incidents including a dog stuck in a wine rack and a snake tangled in an electric fire, at a cost of around £400 per callout.

Firefighters say without their help, people can attempt dangerous rescues themselves.

But the Taxpayers' Alliance said it was not an efficient use of public money.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the campaign group the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Something is clearly awry if they can spend so much of their time and taxpayers' money rescuing these animals from such 'peril'.

"Budgets are tight in all areas of the public sector and in future they need to make sure they are using their resources to maximum efficiency."

A spokesperson from Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: "Our firefighters are paid a salary and putting a financial cost on an incident turn-out is misleading.

"No animal rescue would take those resources away from the rescue of a person, or to save a house from burning down."

A statement from the Kent service to the BBC said: "If we didn't attend we know from past experience that members of the public could be injured or put themselves into dangerous situations (and subsequently need rescuing) while attempting to rescue the animal themselves."

Original source