Hedgehogs in pain banned from travelling by train

SICK hedgehogs will no longer be able to let the train take the strain, a rail parcel firm has decided.

Hundreds of hedgehogs injured on the roads have been sent to the St Tiggywinkle's Animal Sanctuary in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, by train. But Red Star has stopped its special service.

Les Stocker, one of the founders of St Tiggywinkle's, said: 'I'm surprised the service has stopped, although it wasn't used much in the past couple of years. The service started more than 10 years ago.

'If you had a certificate from the vet saying the animal was fit enough to travel you would pay the minimum livestock charge and send it on the train. We had several hundred sent by Red Star. But in the last couple of years, we have encouraged a lot of small wildlife hospitals to be set up across the country and demand has dropped off a lot.'

Roger Harrison, public relations manager for Red Star, the express parcels division of BR, said: 'The rules about transporting injured animals have been made a lot more stringent. We have had no alternative but to abandon the service.

'We are not in the hedgehog transportation business - documents and computer equipment is our stock in trade.'