21st May, 2019

Cases of animals caught up in plastic across Warwickshire rise

Laura Kearns 18th Feb, 2019

PLASTIC is not just a problem for the world’s marine life as animals in Warwickshire are increasingly discovering.

David Attenborough startlingly highlighted the devastating impact plastic waste was having on the ocean in his series Blue Planet II.

And the RSPCA says the number of animals caught up in discarded plastic in Warwickshire has steadily been rising for the past three years. There were 12 cases last year after zero reports three years earlier.

Cases locally have included a duck with a plastic ring trapped round his bill and around the back of his head. RSPCA inspectors say the animal must have been in a ‘great deal’ of pain and were forced to put it to sleep.

the charity’s head of wildlife Adam Grogan said: “This shocking rise in plastic litter incidents suggests that plastic is a growing threat to animals.

“Every year, the RSPCA deals with increasing numbers of mammals, birds and reptiles that have become entangled or affected in some way by discarded plastic. From seals with deep infected wounds caused by plastic frisbees cutting into their necks, to swans and geese trapped in fishing line or netting, plastic is clearly having an increasing impact on animal welfare.

“Our latest data sadly reflects the wider litter crisis taking place right now across the globe and action is urgently needed. It’s up to every one of us to do our bit in the war against litter.”

The amount of incidents involving non plastic litter is also an increasing problem, both for wildlife and domestic pets.

Leamington is currently a testbed for a project which could be rolled out nationally, aimed at changing the behaviour of those who thoughtlessly discard rubbish.

The ‘Now or Never’ project is being spearheaded by environmental change organisation Clean Up Britain.

Vans displaying large images of animals injured by metal cans and plastic from packs of beer are part of the campaign.

The RSPCA is urging people to help protect animals by taking litter home and disposing of it properly.

Visit www.keepbritaintidy.org or www.itsnowornever.org.uk to find out more about litter-picking outdoors.

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