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Fears for animals if Norfolk sanctuary closes

PUBLISHED: 06:30 14 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:26 02 July 2010

Lyz Hall, seen here with her late husband Keith and two ill-treated cats, in 2006. Picture: Paul Hewitt.

Lyz Hall, seen here with her late husband Keith and two ill-treated cats, in 2006. Picture: Paul Hewitt.

Sam Emanuel

An animal sanctuary threatened with closure has hit back at claims by a council that the birds and animals it cares for will not be put at risk if it is shut down.

Lyz Hall, seen here with her late husband Keith and two ill-treated cats, in 2006. Picture: Paul Hewitt.

An animal sanctuary threatened with closure has hit back at claims by a council that the birds and animals it cares for will not be put at risk if it is shut down.

Hallswood, in Stratton Strawless, was refused planning permission last month by Broadland District Council, despite having cared for sick and injured wildlife on the site for more than 10 years.

The council has said it will assist Lyz Hall, who owns the sanctuary she used to run with her late husband Keith Hall, in finding other shelters for the animals, or release them into the wild.

A council spokeswoman said: “The animals and birds currently at Hallswood are not at risk from this decision. If any animals or birds need to be found other shelters or be released into the wild we would work with Mrs Hall to contact the relevant animal welfare groups to ensure that the animals and birds are given the best help possible.”

But Mrs Hall has said the plan is totally impractical, and issued a rallying cry for the public to get behind her attempts to save the organisation.

She said: “I know we have a lot of public support and I really want people to make their voices heard so their views count. It is completely unrealistic to think that the animals could all be suitably rehomed at other sanctuaries, and where it is practical, we release the animals into the wild already.”

Other Norfolk animal sanctuaries have joined in the fight against the council's plans, which they agree are unrealistic.

Chris Rockingham, of PACT animal sanctuary in Hingham, said: “There is not another organisation in East Anglia that could cope with the extra work that would be created by the demise of Hallswood.

“PACT is the only other organisation in the area doing anything similar and we certainly couldn't cope with the extra [animals].

“The rest of the organisations deal with domestic animals and not with wildlife, like Hallswood does, or are very, very small.

“There are a lot of animals that need long-term or possibly permanent care. The council is being unrealistic, unreasonable and need to bear in mind that last time they started this, Hallswood took it to appeal and won, and it cost the tax payer a fortune.”

She added: “PACT totally supports Hallswood and Lyz now Keith has gone.”

What do you think of the proposals to close Hallswood? Write to Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE.

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