Firefighters rescue more than 2,000 animals in Scotland in last five years

Firefighters in Scotland were called out to deal with more than 2,000 animal-related emergencies in the last five years, figures show.

Members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service helped rescue a variety of animals - from the domestic to the wild - from a range of places

Wild animals such as deer were rescued from a variety of places including a takeaway in Inverness, public toilets, churches, supermarkets, skips and a theatre in Angus.

Domestic pets including cats and dogs were also retrieved by members of the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service from a range of places including a sewage works, an electric power station in Dunfermline, a football stadium in Cowdenbeath, golf courses, mines and a nightclub in Leith.

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Firefighters were also called out to Edinburgh Zoo on two occasions last year. One incident involved rescuing a rhino that had become stuck in a tyre.

The service also responded to 144 instances of reported animal harm.

The figures, which cover the years 2013-2018, were revealed in a Freedom of Information request.

Jenny Marr, Scottish Lib Dem spokeswoman for the natural environment, said: “These statistics show the Fire and Rescue Service undertakes a huge amount of unseen work rescuing thousands of trapped or mistreated animals, as just one small strand of their innumerable responsibilities.

“It’s alarming to discover the fire and rescue service is responding to so many counts of animal harm. Any abuse of vulnerable wild animals, pets or livestock is intolerable and should be met by the full force of the law.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Statutory responsibility for animal rescue lies with the Scottish SPCA.

“However the SFRS will always attend where there is a risk that a member of the public might put themselves in danger by attempting to affect their own rescue.

“The SFRS is also a humanitarian service and would always seek to assist an animal in distress, which can be a source of upset to members of the public.”