Ex-vet’s Far East mission

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A RETIRED vet is set to jet off to Japan to help animals suffering in the country after the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Stuart Easby, 62, who lives near Bugthorpe, is planning to spend a week working with domestic animals who have been separated from their owners and left in a desperate condition.

He also wants to help farm animals, such as cattle which have lost their pasture and wildlife injured by the disasters.

Mr Easby said: “They’re short of personnel and equipment out there which sounds somewhat strange for a well-off and developed country.

“I’m somewhat apprehensive about it. It’s going to be a matter of being a little cog in a very big wheel.”

The ex-vet admits he does not know what to expect and what the plan will be when he gets to Japan.

He said: “It’s very much in the hands of the Japanese Animal Welfare Society. In short I don’t know what I am going into.

“One of the charities will be in charge of the vet side of things. It’s a matter of taking a lot from them.

“I’m taking my skills. I don’t know how they are going to be employed. There will be a lot of animals abandoned in the areas affected.”

Mr Easby, who founded Battle Flatts Veterinary Clinic in Stamford Bridge, will travel out to Japan with staff from the Wet Nose Animal Aid based in Norfolk.

His mission will begin in Kansai and, from there he will travel to different communities affected by the tsunami. He said he will be avoiding the area affected by radiation leaking from the damaged nuclear power station at Fukushima.

Since retiring in 2004, Mr Easby has been involved in a number of international mercy missions. Last year he spent ten weeks out in Pakistan helping farmers keep their livestock alive following devastating floods.

The father of four, who runs an advice line called One Call Advice Direct Vet, has also made trips to the Middle East to work with a charity aiming to improve the plight of injured donkeys in Israel and Palestine.