Animal rescue centre in Bristol preparing for staff to live on site in the event of a coronavirus lockdown

An animal rescue centre in Bristol is preparing for staff to live on site 'away from their families and loved ones' in the event of a Government lock down due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary in Barrow Gurney usually relies on volunteers to help care for the hundreds of animals they rescue and re-home each year.

The sanctuary says it has already seen a reduction in the numbers of volunteers coming to help since the outbreak, and that a full lockdown would put a 'huge strain' on them.

The centre is already at full capacity with more than 80 animals in residence.

The centre says full lockdown would put a 'huge strain' on them. Credit: Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary

The plan for a full lockdown would be for six core members of staff to live on site, caring for the animals around the clock.

Staff at the sanctuary have already been warned by their bosses.

Any adoptions of animals would be put on hold during a lockdown. The centre has also warned it will not be able to take in any other animals which need help.

A spokesperson for the charity says 'not knowing what will happen to them terrifies us'.

Medication and specialist dietary food are currently being stockpiled by the sanctuary for its animals.

Bosses at Holly Hedge said the charity - who rely on members of the public visiting - was already suffering financially as a result of the virus. They say they are 'likely to feel the after effects of the pandemic for many months.'