Brexit dilemma for Cornwall rescue seal

28 March 2019, 12:35 | Updated: 28 March 2019, 12:44

Brexit uncertainty causes transport problems

Rescued grey seal Stevie affected by the uncertainty around Brexit in race against time to get his pool finished in Belgium

Brexit is not only causing stress for UK citizens, blind Belgian resident seal Stevie could struggle to return to his home at Blankenberge SEA LIFE centre due to the difficulties surrounding animal transportation and uncertainty of Brexit. 

Stevie was originally from the UK, after being rescued off the coast of Norfolk in 2006. 

It was found that Stevie was completely blind and was therefore unable to be released. 

Blankenberge SEA LIFE centre provided Stevie a permanent home in 2007 where he happily lived with California Sea Lions and Common Seals. 

After the decision was made for his pool to get renovated, Stevie needed a holiday home to go to whilst the work took place. 

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary had space for Stevie and welcomed him to the Sanctuary on the 13th February after his 450 mile journey to get there. 

Tamara Cooper, Curator at the Sanctuary said; “He is a very friendly boy who loves a bit of one on one attention; he eats an impressive 15kg fish a day and weighs 230kg. 

"He has settled in well at the Sanctuary and has been very popular with the female grey seals!” 

Stevie’s pool refurbishment was going to take around 6 weeks to complete and is due to be ready on the 28th March as no one was prepared to take any chances to move Stevie any later than the planned Brexit ruling date.

The Brexit extension was only announced last week. 

If the Pool is not ready before the Brexit date, there are many issues that would mean Stevie would not be able to return back to his home in Belgium. 

After the Brexit ruling, it is predicted that there will be a heavy increase in volume at the borders and with the huge amount of agricultural and domestic animals going through the border, Stevie will be one in a very long list. 

As Stevie is an older seal, he needs to travel by road but if the borders are congested and border controls are uncertain for aquatic animals, a plane may be his only option.