₤75,000 worth of pets stolen from Edinburgh and the Lothians

By Oliver Farrimond

PET rustlers have stolen more than ₤75,000 worth of animals in the past year.

The animals – including parrots, goldfish, sheep and a prize cockatiel worth ₤6,000 – were snatched from public spaces and homes, with some being returned to their owners, and others turning up dead.

Among the animals targeted in the Edinburgh and Lothian areas were a flock of 200 sheep worth ₤16,000 stolen from their field in the middle of the night, and four Herman tortoises boosted from a pet shop.

Brian Stuart, head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, based in West Lothian, said that animals were often targeted for lucrative black market trading. Continue reading

£50k hip operation for King Charles II and his horse

By Michael MacLeod

AN historic Scots monument is to get a £50,000 hip replacement to save it from collapse.

Edinburgh’s oldest statue, the effigy of King Charles II on horseback, has been battered by over 300 years of heavy Scottish weather and needs urgent work.

Rainwater has seeped in through cracks causing crippling damage on one side of the Parliament Square sculpture, erected in the heart of the capital’s Old Town in 1685.

Experts compared the refurbishment work to a keyhole surgery operation on Charles II’s hip and put a contract for the job out for tender this week.

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Sir Alex ends his six-year BBC interview boycott

By Michael MacLeod

SIR Alex Ferguson has ended his six year BBC boycott – by giving an interview at a horse race.

The Manchester United manager has held a grudge against the broadcasters for accusing his football agent son Jason of orchestrating dodgy transfer dealings in a TV documentary in 2004.

He furiously branded the BBC as “arrogant beyond belief” over the spat.

But the Scot was talked into ending his BBC silence by Radio 5 Live’s horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght, who spotted the manager celebrating the victory of his horse at the Aintree festival on Thursday.

Celebrating Fergie’s u-turn, presenter Richard Bacon said: “It was quite an exciting moment.”
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Horse Served on Scottish Menu

By Andrea McCallum

AN EDINBURGH restaurant has become the first in Scotland to serve horse steak on their menu.

The Scottish capital’s French eaterie L’Escargot Bleu is now offering diners a choice of pan-fried horse rump steak or horse meat steak tartare.

An 8.5kg entire horse rump was delivered to the restaurant direct from Rungis market in Paris – the biggest food market in the world.

Although the meat is new to Scotland, about 70,000 horses are eaten in France every year.

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12-year-old girl airlifted to hospital after horse fall

By Oliver Farrimond

A TEAM of medics were last night treating a 12-year-old girl for serious head injuries after she was airlifted to hospital after falling from a horse.

An RAF rescue team was scrambled to a private beach at Seacliff in North Berwick shortly before lunch-time yesterday (tues) after an ambulance crew initially called to the scene ruled her condition was too risky for her to be ferried by road.

The girl suffered injuries to her head and hands, but described by a Coastguard spokesman as being “conscious” during the take-off and landing of the Sea King helicopter.

The chopper crew from RAF Boulmer in Northumberland was called out shortly after 11.10am and arrived at The Meadows near the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh by 12.30pm.

Hospital staff at the Sick Kids confirmed they were treating the schoolgirl but were last night still awaiting permission from her family before releasing any further details of her name or condition. Continue reading

Horse bolts for freedom day before the snip

By Oliver Farrimond

A RACEHORSE made a dramatic bid for freedom on the M8 – just hours before he was due to be castrated.

Frisky mount Trade Price had finished third at 20-1 hours earlier in a race at Musselburgh racecourse, before he leaped into the front section of the horsebox.

After its driver pulled into the hard shoulder near Hermiston Gate on the outskirts of Edinburgh, vets were called to sedate the horse so he could be cut free after trapping himself.

Fire crews then cut through the partition with a special saw.

Trainer Ian Semple, 61, said that the three-year-old horse had been unusually spirited in recent races and that he had decided to castrate him. Continue reading

Stuck horse gets a hand up

Lynn McFadyen with Gilly

Lynn McFadyen with Gilly

By Cara Sulieman

A FAMILY had to call out the fire brigade to help lift their arthritic horse after she lay down and couldn’t get back up again.

Lynn McFadyen, 45, has had Gilly for 20 years and has grown very attached to her.

But at 25 years old the horse is suffering from arthritis and has problems moving around.

So when she lay down on uneven ground yesterday morning, Lynn had no choice but to call the fire brigade to help her back up again.

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