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Coronavirus: Litter warning from RSPCA as lockdown is eased

Coronavirus: Litter warning from RSPCA as lockdown is eased

Published by Harry Long at 12:19pm 9th June 2020.

The RSPCA has received more than 400 calls about animals affected by litter in North Yorkshire over the past five years.  

  • The RSPCA says it has received hundreds of calls about animals affected by litter in North Yorkshire.
  • The charity is urging people to dispose of litter properly as lockdown restrictions are eased. 
  • Frontline officers are regularly called to help animals affected by litter.   

Nationally, the charity has received more than 21,600 reports of animals injured or caught in litter over that period.    

The charity is urging people who are going out more since lockdown restrictions were eased to take their litter home with them or disposing of it properly.

It says its frontline officers are regularly called to help cats, birds and wildlife who have got themselves tangled in netting, injured in fishing litter or stuck in rubbish.

Litter bin

Head of the RSPCA's wildlife team, Adam Grogan, said:

"Our staff are dealing with thousands of incidents every year where animals and birds have been impacted by litter - and they're the ones that we know of. I'm sure for every animal we're able to help there are many that go unseen, unreported and may even lose their lives. 

"Litter is one of the biggest hazards our wildlife faces today - and it's something that's very easy to resolve. That's why we're calling on the public to take extra care to clear up after they've been out for a walk or enjoyed a picnic in the woods. 

"Now that the Government has eased some of the lockdown restrictions, we're sure lots of families will be out and about in nature. But it's our job to protect nature and that includes properly and responsibly disposing of our litter so that animals can't be hurt."

"Animals who get their heads or necks stuck in litter can suffer severe injuries as they struggle to break free and can even suffocate, while others will slowly grow weaker and weaker as they try to hunt or find food or water. 

"If members of the public see discarded litter we would encourage them to pick it up safely and put it in the bin, remembering to wash their hands after. Their action could save an animal's life."