Appeal for Bexhill’s Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary

Barby Keel (centre) celebrating her 80th birthday with volunteers at her animal sanctuary. SUS-150402-124515001
Barby Keel (centre) celebrating her 80th birthday with volunteers at her animal sanctuary. SUS-150402-124515001

The founder of a Bexhill animal sanctuary is asking the public to donate to help meet the costs of unforeseen changes in the law.

New health and safety regulations mean Barby Keel Animal Sanctuary needs to raise thousands of pounds for more fencing and greater ‘protection’ for visitors.

All despite raising about £14,000 three years ago for similar measures as rules have now become stricter around animals.

Ms Keel said she is very frustrated by the seemingly constantly changing laws but accepts that rules are rules.

“We had it all done but now what they’re saying is, they don’t want people to come up and touch any of the animals because of new health and safety regulations,” she said.

“Like Sundays when we open, none of the animals can be let out.

“When people used to sit and have all the chickens and ducks around them, we’re not allowed to do that anymore and we’ve got to build fences around the animals so you can’t touch them.”

When health and safety officers visited two weeks ago, Barby was stunned to hear what needed to be done.

New fencing needs to go along the bird pens, as well as additional barriers between the animals and visitors so people have no chance of getting hurt. Barby has raised almost £2,000 already but she needs the public to help meet the new standards so they are not shut down.

“If everyone in Bexhill gave one pound, we would be laughing,” she said.

“It’s not as easy as that I know and I hate asking for more money after doing a similar appeal a few years ago.

“But we really do need the kind people of Bexhill to help us out again because we can’t do it by ourselves.”

In February, 2013, Ms Keel put out an appeal to raise money to replace outdated pens to house the hundreds of animals she looks after.

It was successful and Barby said the money was raised ‘pretty quickly’.

She hopes the new appeal will be just as well supported .

To donate, call the sanctuary on 01424 222032, visit the sanctuary on Freezeland Lane or the charity shop on St Leonards Road.

Alternatively, visit the website: barbykeel.btck.co.uk.

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