South London farm needs £25k to replace life-saving animal ambulance that’s not ULEZ compliant

South London farm needs £25k to replace life-saving animal ambulance that's not ULEZ compliant

An animal rescue centre in South London is trying to raise £25,000 for a new animal ambulance, as their current van will see them being charged £12.50 a day to use under Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) regulations. Foal Farm, which stands for Friends of Animal League, has started a campaign to raise funds for a new van to transport neglected animals in need of help.

The animal rescue centre in Biggin Hill, Bromley, was started over 60 years ago to take in unwanted animals and restore them to good health, including cats, dogs, rabbits and a variety of farmyard animals. Denise Hodge, commercial operations manager for Foal Farm, said that the farm’s current 12-year-old van is an essential tool for the charity, which rehome about 500 animals every year.

Ms Hodge told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS): “It’s used almost every day for routine operations, all sorts of checkups and to take them down to the vet or any medical emergencies. It’s also used to go and collect animals from situations where they’ve been in a poor environment or have been neglected.”

The commercial operations manager said staff could drive as far as Ashford or the Midlands to collect animals at risk. Lucy Bennett, finance manager for Foal Farm, said most of the farm animals that the centre receives are saved from slaughter. She said staff also regularly find animals left abandoned at the front gate of the farm.

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Rabbits at the farm are nursed back to health until they can be rehomed(Image: Joe Coughlan)

Ms Bennett said: “The lambs we had in were literally found by the side of the road. One had a broken leg and could barely walk, one had been attacked by a dog… They’ve all got different stories, they’ve all come from various places.”

From August, people in outer London will have to pay £12.50 a day to drive under the ULEZ expansion scheme if their car or van is not considered environmentally friendly enough. Aside from the cost of upgrading their animal ambulance, Ms Hodge said the charge will also impact staff and volunteers who work at the farm.

South London farm needs £25k to replace life-saving animal ambulance that’s not ULEZ compliant

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