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WATCH: Non-native species could harm Cumbria's rivers

There are fears that two species - the Demon Shrimp and the Zebra Mussel may be about to enter Cumbria's waterways and devastate the local wildlife.

Both have already spread to a canal basin in North Lancashire. Anglers and boat users are being asked to make sure they don't inadvertently move the creatures.

Tim Backshall has this exclusive report.


Exotic wildlife threaten Cumbria's waterways

Demon Shrimp are normally found in Asia

There are fears that two tiny river creatures which are normally found in Asia could be about to enter Cumbria's waterways and devastate the local wildlife.

One is called the Demon Shrimp, the other the Zebra Mussel. Both have already spread to North Lancashire.

They can wipe out the native shrimp population and harm fish.

Zebra Mussel Credit: GB non-native Species Secretariat.


Most stray dogs 'haven't been dumped'

One of the residents of Wetheral Animal Refuge. Credit: ITV Border

More than 1,000 dogs have been abandoned in Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders in the last year.

Staff at Wetheral Animal Refuge say there are a variety of reasons dogs lose their homes:

It's really sad that so many dogs lose their home and for some it's a real trauma but the vast majority of the stray dogs we get haven't been dumped.

They may have been lost, jumped out of the car or gone wandering or the family circumstances have changed."

– Colin Powell, Wetheral Animal Refuge

Stray dogs cost Carlisle City Council £70,000 per year

The number of stray dogs is costly for the council. Credit: PA

The number of dogs abandoned in Carlisle in the last year has been revealed, along with the total cost to the city council.

Dogs collected
Dogs claimed
Dogs not claimed
Rough cost to council per year

It is a year on year problem so it seems to be about the mentality of people keeping pets and not realising that they are a long term commitment that requires time and effort on their part.

It's that sort of education we work on with animal charities."

– Scott Burns, Environmental Health Manager, Carlisle City Council
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