Owners have the opportunity to express their views following announcement that a fire and rescue service could introduce charges for large animal rescue.
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is consulting as part of the Making Surrey Safe Plan 2020-2023 which aims to set out how the fire service responds to incidents and uses resources.
On behalf of the service, a spokesman for Surrey County Council said: “We are sometimes called to incidents that are not emergencies, such as freeing trapped animals and persistent false automatic re alarms. The introduction of the Localism Act 2011 increased the scope for recovering costs for emergencies we respond to that turn out to be non-emergencies.
“We may charge for some services such as persistent false alarms and animal rescues and re-invest this in SFRS. We will balance our statutory obligations to ensure we act ethically and maintain our values and standards.”
Surrey County Council was unable to provide any further information on the proposed charges but the spokesman said the council will look at views raised during the consultation “before any final decisions are taken”.
Steve Owen-Hughes, acting chief fire officer for SFRS, said: “Our plan is all about bringing firefighters closer to the communities we serve to help prevent emergencies and keep people safe, especially the most vulnerable in our society.
“We really want to hear your views on our proposals and would encourage you to take part in our consultation.”
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Jim Green, director of the Britain Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association, told H&H: “Surrey aren’t saying they aren’t going to go to animal rescues – they are looking at how they might get something back for the outlay they have in keeping that specialist team active. This is a good opportunity for people to reply to the consultation and to really have their say.”
Owners have until 26 May to express their views by completing an online survey.
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