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Seal distemper crisis, charity stretched

PUBLISHED: 11:15 12 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:37 03 March 2010

RSPCA resources are being stretched and the animal charity is appealing for understanding from members of the public during the continuing seal distemper crisis.

RSPCA resources are being stretched and the animal charity is appealing for understanding from members of the public during the continuing seal distemper crisis.

The sight of sick and dying common seals around the coasts of Suffolk and Norfolk is now a daily occurrence and more than 300 seals have been reported dead around The Wash.

Many of the society's inspectors and animal collection officers are spending much of their time transporting seals with the phocine distemper virus (PVD) to the RSPCA Norfolk Wildlife Hospital near King's Lynn for urgent treatment.

Inevitably this is having an impact on the society's other work even though extra officers from outside the eastern region are being drafted in to help.

When members of the public in East Anglia call the RSPCA's 24-hour helpline on 08705 555999 they will now hear a recorded message asking them to consider whether their call is urgent, or if another organisation might be able to help them more quickly.

Although the RSPCA is prioritising care for sick and dying seals it can also re-assure members of the public that urgent cruelty cases will still be dealt with as normal.

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