Gordon Birtwistle, MP for Burnley & Padiham, is spending an afternoon with an RSPCA inspector this week to find out more about the animal welfare issues in his constituency.


He will spend Thursday afternoon (14 November) with RSPCA inspector and wildlife officer Lyndsey Taylor as she goes about her work responding to complaints of animal cruelty and neglect.


Lyndsey has been an RSPCA inspector for five years and has dealt with everything from neglected dogs, cats and horses to injured wildlife. One memorable incident involved a jackdaw tangled in fishing line and dangling from a tree. She had to climb the tree, free it from the line and return it to its calling parents.


One of the biggest problems in the area at the moment is the number of cats and kittens being abandoned, with one incident every couple of days.


Inspector Taylor said: “I understand that Mr Birtwistle and his wife have cats themselves so I’m sure this will be of particular concern to him. We are seeing cats and kittens abandoned in boxes and cat carriers and just left behind at properties when their owners move on. People are allowing their cats to have litters which they find they can’t sell as there are simply more kittens than people who want them. Others are just failing to get their pets neutered and don’t know what to do when one becomes several. Our centres, fosterers and private boarding establishments are full to bursting.”


Mr Birtwistle met with RSPCA chief executive Gavin Grant and RSPCA government relations officer Claire Robinson after the Liberal Democrat Party Conference in September and he was invited to spend some time with a local inspector.


Mr Birtwistle said: “I fully support the RSPCA, the work that they do in protecting animals is invaluable. I am very proud of the work the local RSPCA team does, they work tirelessly to promote animal welfare and to prevent cruelty, and I greatly admire their hard work and commitment. As a nation of pet lovers this is a vital service to ensure the safety and welfare of our animals and I am happy to lend my support to this fantastic organisation.”


The RSPCA launched the ‘Everyday Hero’ campaign last week to encourage people to become an #AnimalHero by doing what they can to improve animal welfare, from adopting or fostering a rescue animal, to feeding the birds in their garden or donating their unwanted items to RSPCA charity shops. For more information on the appeal and how you can help, please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/winterappeal You can also get involved via the RSPCA’s Facebook page or on Twitter #AnimalHero.