Submitted by Steve on 13:43, 24th Sep, 2020 | 0

On the 8th September the GSPCA were invited along to the Environment Hustings to talk to the Candidates standing in the 2020 Election.

Steve Byrne GSPCA attended the event that took place at Les Cotils.

As it was the Environment Hustings the topics discussed were focused on the theme, but the GSPCA daily face a huge range of challenges. Some of these discussed included –

  • We desperately need a new Wildlife Hospital for the 2000+ wild animals we rescue every year. We have raised £200,000 towards this £1,000,000 project but due to Covid-19 and financial challenges raising £2,000 a day to run the Shelter we have sadly had to deprioritise this much needed facility
  • We would love to use more green energy and be more environmentally friendly
  • Protection for nesting and roosting animals, the Animal Welfare Ordinance 2012 does have some provision but not as much as other jurisdictions
  • Protection for the Birds of Prey of Guernsey
  • We are constantly responding to enquiries about dog waste not being picked up
  • Better identification of all domestic animals including farm animals and horses which can do a lot of damage when loose or stray

We talked to the Candidates also about some of our key facts –

  • We help over 500+ sick or injured hedgehogs each year which has been increasing
  • We help over 1500+ sick or injured wild birds
  • We investigate calls of builders/roofers disturbing nesting animals, especially birds and bats which currently have little protection
  • We have seen increasing numbers of birds of prey with the current poisoning a great concern
  • Every year we talk to and educate 1000’s of children and islanders about the natural world and how to help wildlife
  • The GSPCA has won a number of Conservation Awards and has many projects ongoing at our site in St Andrews

Steve Byrne GSPCA Manager Steve Byrne said “Monday 8th September was a great evening chatting to many of the Candidates standing for the 2020 Election.”

“With over 147 years the GSPCA works 24/7 around the clock in a diverse way helping not only animals but the community in many ways.”

“As it was the Environment Hustings and we had only 2 ½ minutes with 1 or 2 Candidates at a time it was a little like speed dating, so we had to focus on key points but there are many challenges in many areas of our work and with animal welfare here in Guernsey.”

“The 2020 Animal Welfare Ordinance is a great piece of legislation, but there are sections not yet in acted such as licencing of variety of animal businesses.”

“Roosting bats and nesting birds are protected with the legislation, but it does nothing to ask those carrying out building or gardening work to survey before carrying the work which could disturb or cause them harm and each year we receive calls from concerned members of public.”

“Another huge challenge we face is trying to reunite stray or loose animals.”

“With only around 70-80% of stray dogs and cats microchipped, as well as very few rabbits, ferrets or tortoise with a chip or identification we see 100’s of animals that we really struggle to find an owner.”

“A farm more challenging group of loose animals are farm animals and horses which pose a real risk to human life and we do see those hit by cars causing harm and sadly the death of the animal in some circumstances.”

“When our volunteers are called out in the middle of the night to stray horses or herds of animals dealing with them in the dark, sometimes fog or pouring rain trying to contain them and find an owner with little or no identification is incredibly difficult.”

“In recent years we have been involved with many animal welfare prosecution cases and thankfully many investigations can easily be dealt with giving advice so the legislation can and does work, but from dealing with dogs left in hot cars to owners not picking up after the dogs which have defecated we are called daily about animal welfare complaints or concerns.”

“A real concern from human health for the GSPCA are animals especially dogs and cats being imported to Guernsey.”

“We saw in 2015 the 25 Slovakian puppies being seized and the dealer prosecuted for animal welfare offences and fraud, but all of these puppies needed treatment and quarantine and it really highlighted the fact that even through our waters animals are being illegally transported that aren’t healthy and this could easily bring non-endemic zoonotic diseases into our beautiful island putting our pets and human health at risk.”

“Through our doors we help over 3000 animals through the doors, 1000’s more on the road, over 1000 bereaved pet owners each year, have over 800 volunteers help each year, we average 300-500 animals on site at any time, normally have over 30,000 visitors to the Shelter, carry out 100’s of educational tours and talks, we work alongside 100’s of groups and charities every year, average 5 press releases a week which often focus on education and call to action and so much more, but this all comes at a cost of around £2,000 a day to help the community in so many ways.”

"We discussed at the event how we have seen a record breaking number of wild animals come through our care and due to financial challenges how our much needed Wildlife Hospital build is on hold as we have to focus on raising the funds to operate each day as our normal avenues of funds like boarding and events have been severely affected this year due to Covid."

“Many of the Candidates will be unaware of work and support we give the States of Guernsey and the many departments in many ways from the Police to Customs, the Housing Department to unemployed placements, with he Education Department to the Probation Service, the Prison to Social Security, dealing with 100’s of strays 24/7 365 days a year to working with the States Vets and we are often used as a voice of expertise and for advice.”

“We all face challenging times and we would love to speak to any Candidate, Party or when elected Deputy interested in knowing more about the animal welfare challenges we face at the GSPCA and how we work throughout the community.”

“Talking to the Candidates really helped promote the challenges we face at the GSPCA and we provided each with a leaflet with some key messages.”

“A huge thanks to all involved with the Environment Hustings and the Candidates that we spoke too it was really appreciated.”

For any Candidate or Party wanting to see the work at the GSPCA and learn of the animal welfare challenges in Guernsey please contact GSPCA Manager Steve Byrne by calling 01481 257261 or email [email protected]

In line with States of Guernsey advice please DO NOT visit the GSPCA if have been outside of the Bailiwick of Guernsey in line with their advice or have any symptoms of Coronavirus and we continue visits to the Shelter for only essential reasons and to please call us on 01481 257261 or email [email protected] before your trip to see if we can help without you coming to the Shelter. For the latest information and advice please visit 

The GSPCA continues with all essential services and we plane to phase other services back into operation and to find out more please visit -

With huge challenges on our resources and a drop in income from boarding and donations please help us help animals in Guernsey with our #GSPCACoronavirusCrisisAppeal by donating online via -

During these difficult times help us help animals in need. From donating to Sponsoring a Pen, Buying a Brick for the much needed Wildlife Hospital to our Amazon and main page Wish List, holding a mufti day to a sponsored Christmas dip, here are some of the ways you could help give animals joy.

For volunteering information please visit or call 257261

To find out more on talks and our education work please email [email protected] or call 01481 257261



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