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Pembroke Dock: 50 dogs rescued in animal welfare case

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POLICE and Council officers are investigating a series of allegations relating to animal welfare complaints following an exclusive Herald Online investigation.

On Tuesday, January 29, three Dog Ambulances from the Dogs Trust, council officers from Pembrokeshire County Council and Police officers from Dyfed Powys Police attended at Bramble Hall Farm, Pembroke Dock.

Speaking to The Herald on Wednesday, January 30, a spokesperson from the Dogs Trust told us: “On Tuesday 29 January, we assisted Pembrokeshire County Council and Dyfed-Powys police in attending to dogs whose welfare has potentially been compromised at a premises near Pembroke Dock.

“More than 50 dogs were removed from the site and Dogs Trust staff were on hand to ensure that affected dogs were safely retrieved and transported with care to Council premises in our specially equipped Animal Ambulance.

“The health and welfare of the dogs is our priority and we will do all we can to assist Pembrokeshire County Council.

“If anyone is concerned about any specific dogs that they think may be involved they can contact the Animal Health Team at Pembrokeshire County Council on 01437 764 551.”

The action took place after Pembroke Dock residents contacted The Herald over the weekend to express concerns about the welfare of animals in a nearby field, believed to belong to the same farm.

A sheep was in a field backing on to the southern edge of Bush Estate on Sunday afternoon (Jan 27).

Old vehicle: In front of the gateway (pic. Herald)

Locals who saw the animal in distress described it as seemingly ‘neglected’.

The concerned members of the public tried to contact the RSCPA but received no help, which ultimately meant that a vet had to put the animal to sleep.

A Facebook post about the incident has been shared hundreds of times, with many local residents expressing their outrage at the fact animals were being kept in such conditions.

A Herald reporter visited the field on Monday afternoon (Jan 28) and it was easy to see why locals were alarmed.
Immediately in front of the gate to the field is the shell of a wrecked vehicle, with debris strewn across the ground across the length of the field.


Wire, pieces of old wooden pallets, and litter can easily be identified from the gateway.

The field also lacks a lot of grass, with the majority of the ground covered in mud.

One local, who did not wish to be named, told us: “I saw the sheep  – initially thought it was dead, but I went into the field and took a closer look and it was moving so I stooped down to it.

“It started to have a seizure and was in a bad way – I couldn’t leave it like she was.

“We contacted the RSPCA but after 2 hours we had heard nothing and the weather was atrocious so I decided to try and make it comfortable by making a bed in the back of my van.”


The local continued: “A man turned up to ask what was wrong – I explained and he drove off, and then the owner came.

“He was identified to me afterwards as I had no clue who he was at the time.

“He asked what was wrong and I explained and he opened her mouth, pulled her legs and told me to take it home.
“At this stage, I was unaware who this person was, so I called a vet as I couldn’t bear to see it suffer any more and the RSPCA hadn’t turned up.

“The vet came to our home and put her to sleep in the back of my van.

“Nobody has contacted myself or my friend – I’m just being inundated with messages from the public telling me of lots of other occasions of neglect that authorities are well aware of but nothing is ever done.”

When contacted by The Herald about the concerns raised, a Council spokesperson told us: “We are aware of the number of expressions of concern relating to these animals.

“We can assure the public that appropriate steps are being taken to ensure the welfare of the animals during the ongoing investigation.”

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “RSPCA Cymru is very saddened to hear that this sheep was severely injured and to prevent further suffering was put to sleep. The animal welfare charity can confirm that it received a call in regards to this sheep, and passed this onto Animal Health, which has been leading on animal-matters in the area.

“Unfortunately, the RSPCA only has a very small number of inspectors – but we receive a call for help approximately every 30 seconds across England and Wales; and sometimes need to pass calls onto other agencies where they have appropriate statutory responsibility, or who have prior experience of a location.”


However, local anger is growing at the lack of action by the RSPCA, with claims made on social media that a number of animal welfare complaints concerning animals in the fields and at Bramble Hall Farm were inexplicably ignored by the organisation.

It is not clear whether the RSPCA shared information regarding those previous complaints with the Council’s Animal Health team.

In a shocking new development, The Herald has been sent photographic evidence which suggests animal parts or carcasses have been disposed of in the same fields as the distressed sheep.

In a series of images, which may cause some readers distress, skeletal remains of animals were discovered in the same field in which livestock continues to be kept.

The failure to dispose of animal carcasses in an approved way is potentially a criminal matter.

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Covid alert level lowered for whole of UK

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THE COVID alert level for all four nations of the United Kingdom has been lowered to alert level 4.

The decision comes following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in light of the most recent data.

In recent weeks, the R-rate and the number of covid cases has been on the decline.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.

“The health services across the four nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital, however thanks to the efforts of public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.

“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.

“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”

Under the Welsh Government’s Alert level 4 restrictions, schools and colleges, places of worship, community centres, playgrounds and public parks are among those that can be opened.

Theatres, entertainment venues, leisure facilities and outdoor visitors attractions are among the places that must remain close while the country is in Alert Level 4.

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Postmaster and politicians welcome Goodwick cash machine U-turn

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GOODWICK post office will now be keeping its ATM, after a U-turn by Post Office Ltd.

The machine was due to be removed within months with the post master, Jon Moverley saying that it would be a disaster for the village.

If the ATM had been removed, there would have been just two 24-hour ATMs serving the whole of Fishguard and Goodwick in the short term and three when the Co-op renovations are completed.

Both politicians and local residents then got behind the campaign to keep the ATM

Pembrokeshire politicians Paul Davies and Stephen Crabb have welcomed the news that Goodwick post office is now set to keep its ATM facility. Following representations made by both politicians to the Post Office, it’s now been confirmed that Goodwick Post Office will be included in the rollout of ATM machines across the post office network.

Mr Davies said “This is really welcome news. I’m pleased that the Post Office has listened to the representations made by the local community and decided to retain the ATM at Goodwick post office. The facility is so important for local people and businesses and it’s great that that’s been recognised and the Post Office has committed to keeping it.”

Following the Post Office’s decision to invest in Goodwick’s ATM rather than remove it, Stephen Crabb MP, who campaigned for the ATM to stay, commented: “It’s great news that the Post Office has overturned its own decision and will be keeping an ATM machine in Goodwick.

“Access to cash continues to be incredibly important for a number of people and businesses and I’m pleased to have played my part in working with John from the Post Office in Goodwick, Paul Davies MS and the wider community to highlight the ATMs importance to the area. It shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The postmaster described the news as ‘brilliant’. Mr Moverley thanked supporters.

He said “Many thanks to all of you who have used the machine and complained to POL about the removal. We were also supported by our MP, MS and mayor, the National Federation of Sub-postmasters and our Chamber of Trade.

“Everyone did their bit, and it says an enormous amount about the strength of the community.

“We are delighted that locals and so many other people have come together to save this essential facility in the village.”

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Judith Rhead murder: Police appeal to public for information

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE can confirm it is appealing for information after the death of a 68-year-old woman from Pembroke Dock.

Judith Rhead’s body was discovered in a property in Market Street on Saturday, February 20.

Dale Morgan, aged 43, has been charged with her murder and was remanded into custody on Thursday (Feb 25).

Morgan is due to appear at Swansea Crown Court tomorrow, police have confirmed.

A spokesman said: “The force has set up an online portal where the public can share any information they feel might help investigators with their enquiries.

“Specifically, police would like to hear from anyone who saw or spoke to Judith between November 2020 and February 2021.”

Detectives said that they would also like to speak to anyone who has information about Dale Morgan’s movements on February 19 or 20, or who believes they have other information that could assist the investigation.

To share information to the police via the portal, please click here.

Alternatively, you can also contact the force by calling the non-emergency number, 101.

 

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