Edinburgh Gorgie farm: Former staff members' plea to save animals which may have to be put down

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Former staff from Edinburgh’s Gorgie Farm caring for animals at their homes appeal for help amid fears some face being put down due to soaring bills

Former workers at Gorgie Farm are struggling with costs after taking dozens of small animals into their homes. Following closure of the crisis-hit community farm due to lack of funding all of the animals have since been rehomed.

The larger animals and poultry are currently being temporarily fostered by various local zoos and farms, with the hope that those who are safe to do so will return if the farm reopens its doors. Dozens of the smaller animals were taken in by several big-hearted staff and volunteers who have just lost their jobs. Some said they’ve cleared out rooms and one even said she would ‘just eat toast’ to make sure they got fed.

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Last month Edinburgh councillors voted to use £250k of funding in a last-ditch attempt to save the farm and organisations including Edinburgh Zoo signalled their interest in taking over. But former workers fear if a decision over the farm’s future isn’t made soon, they will be forced to put healthy animals down. Vets say bills costs between £200 and £300 a month for the animals while some are in need of life-saving surgery.

Former workers farm taken smaller animals into their homesFormer workers farm taken smaller animals into their homes
Former workers farm taken smaller animals into their homes

Former employee and volunteer Chloe Hogg said: "The animals mean so much to the staff and volunteers caring for them, who are determined to maintain a high standard of care, with diet, enrichment and medical treatment being top priorities.

"I worked at Gorgie Farm for over two years and volunteered for a further 10 years before being employed in January 2021. Having spent so many years caring for these animals, creating unbreakable bonds between us, there was no way that we could have risked them going to homes from which they would not return to the farm. I’m housing five chinchillas, which must be split across three cages due to age and gender, as well as three leopard geckos requiring 24hr heat mat and a fancy goldfish. We wish the animals to return to their home in the heart of the city.”

The £500 fundraiser has already smashed its target hitting £541 on Thursday afternoon. Cash will be distributed amongst this group with a priority given to those animals most in need.

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