CHALFORD HILL, England, Nov. 9 (UPI) — A British lobbying group has criticized a fire department for spending six hours on the rescue of a pet duck trapped in a pond’s overflow pipe.
Chris and Karen Hutchens said a five-man team of Gloucestershire firefighters arrived at their Chalford Hill, England, home just before 9:30 a.m. and dug a trench to free their duck, Brownie, from the pipe, The Sun reported Monday.
“It was such a relief when a fire engine turned up and they started digging the hole. The pipe was about 4 feet underground but they kept going, they were wonderful and really went beyond the call of duty,” Karen Hutchens said.
However, a spokeswoman for lobbying group TaxPayers’ Alliance criticized the firefighters’ actions.
“Whilst no one likes to see a duck suffering, animal rescue is not the central job of the fire service,” she said. “In this case there were no emergency calls pending, but calls can crop up at the last minute which could be much more pressing than the rescue of a duck.”
A spokesman for the fire department said firefighters have humanitarian roles in their communities and were able to help in this case due to the lack of emergency calls.
Copyright 2009 by United Press International