12th August1999
The Noticeboard


PETS CORNER

Worms. It isn't a very pleasent topic to read about yet it's surprising how pertinent it really is. Worms can be very easy to ignore because usually yoou will not see them, however they can cause serious problems to your pet as well as to children. PETS: 1. Worms cause a dull lifeless coat. 2. Swelling of the stomach. 3. Loss of weight. 4. Pneumonia and Diarrhea.

CHILDREN: 1. Permanent eye damage.

There are two different types of worm, 1. Roundworm: this type has a dozen different types of worm which infect both cats and dogs. 2. Tapeworm: which when mature can grow to half a metre and there can be dozens of worms in a single animal.

How worms are contracted. Roundworm: 1. Transfer of larvae from bitches womb to unborn pups. 2. Transfer from bitches milk to nursing pups. 3. Eggs picked up from local environment and eating birds, earthworms, and mice. Tapeworm: Although they cannot be transferred directly from pet to pet, fleas carry tapeworm larvae. 1. While grooming the pet swallows the fleas and the tapeworm larvae mature in your pets intestines. 2. The tapeworm sheds egg filled segments which are passed out with your pets faeces. The eggs are eaten by fleas and the cycle begins again. 3. Tapeworm are also carried by small animals so hunting cats are very susceptable to infection. 4. Tapeworms produce many thousands of eggs and so your pet has maximum a chance of becoming infected.

Prevention & Cure. Puppies and kittens need to be wormed every two weeks until they are 6 months. Dogs and cats need to be wormed 3-4 times a year. Using effective flea treatment can reduce the incidence of tapeworm. Cleaning up faeces from public areas will reduce the infection of children. Avoiding raw offal and unsterilised pet foods can help reduce risk of infestation.

Always remember to use a reputable worm dose that treats all worm species, and also weigh your pet so that the correct quantity of wormer is given.


AUTUMN LEAVES

After the strong summer growth, autumn is a good time to tidy the garden.
If you find that your neighbour’s trees are blocking your light, you cannot insist that they are cut down. You have no automatic right to light but you may have more rights if you can prove that you received a certain amount of light for 20 years and that the overgrowth has changed the situation for you. The best way to sort out any difficulties is to discuss the problem calmly with your neighbour and hopefully come to some agreement.
If you find that branches from your neighbour’s trees are hanging over your garden wall, you have the right to cut these. But you cannot cut into trees on your neighbour’s side of the boundary. By law, any branches you cut down don’t belong to you so you should return them to your neighbour if he wants them.


Points to remember:

Rake up leaves lying on the lawn. Collect those which are not diseased into a black polythene bag and leave to rot to use as leafmould compost.

Tidy up flower beds by removing weeds and stray seedlings.
Clear away the remains of summer fruit and vegetable crops and compost any that are disease-free. Throw out or burn any which look diseased.
Conifers and fruit trees, except plum, should be pruned now. Check that any diseased, damaged or dead branches are removed and protect them against disease.
Remember, autumn is the best time to plant. Now is also the time to check any overgrowth straying into your neighbour’s gardens. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are not damaging your neighbour’s properties and that you are not endangering them.


FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

The Freedom of Information Act 1997 gives rights to individuals to obtain information from State bodies.

You have a right to information about yourself, and about
Government decisions and policies. It took effect on 21 April 1998.

This Act replaces the presumption of secrecy in the Official Secrets Act with the legal presumption that the public has a right to know. Normally, a Government body must decide and respond to a Freedom of Information request within a few weeks.


Your rights
You have a right to see what information is on your files and to correct it if it is wrong. Personal information is not available to anyone else. A pensioner or an unemployed person can see her Social Welfare file. A taxpayer can see her Income Tax record. Anyone who has applied for a grant can see how the application was handled. A homeless person can see where she is on the housing list. A parent can see her child’s school assessment.
Public bodies are legally obliged to give people reasons for decisions which affect them. If a body turns down a grant, refuses a Social Welfare payment or says that a child is not a priority for orthodontic care, those affected have a legal right to a reason for that decision.
Public bodies are obliged to publish internal rules and guidelines. Detailed criteria used for means tests have to be published. Any general guidelines used to decide borderline cases are a matter of public record.

Officials who fail to comply with the Information Commissioner’s requirement to produce records or attend as witnesses, or who obstruct the Commissioner in the performance of his duties, face a 1,500 penalty or 6 months in jail.