Reply To: feeding bread to swans

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Martin Kelly

“No one paid for the research except out of our pockets. No public funding has ever been used for our research. ”
Sorry but I’m confused. Do you mean your own individual personal pockets? Or do you mean the pockets of your charity, which I understand is in part if not wholly, funded by public donations.

I’m also not sure as to what you mean by “in-kind donations”in respect of research costs. I found this article referring to some of research you carried out in 2007 into what was causing some U.K. swans to turn pink. The paragraphs that are confusing me are as follows:

“Once the Orange Lake tests were successfully completed, the Florida researchers advised UK swan caretakers to begin washing their affected birds in (the domestic washing up liquid) Fairy Liquid”

“Fairy Liquid has been part of the British repertoire and is a trusted brand recognized for its mildness to hands, and its long lasting formula. All Fairy Liquid products are endorsed by the British Skin Foundation”

“In July, Procter & Gamble’s Fairy Liquid will sponsor 10 members of The Regal Swan to travel to London, by special invitation, to travel with Her Majestys Swan Warden and Her Majestys Swan Marker along the Thames river, during the annual ceremony of ‘Swan Upping’”

Was this funding a necessary part of the research project and therefore covered by in-kind donations, or was it simply a good will gesture from Procter & Gamble for advertising your endorsement of their product?
I’m Sorry if I’m bothering you, but I’m just trying to understand your methods and funding policies. If you were a U.K. charity I would be able to ask these questions of the U.K. charities commissioners under the freedom of information act.