RSPCA warns of litter causing harm amongst animals across Lincolnshire

Almost 100 calls were made about animals getting entangled in discarded litter in Lincolnshire last year, according to figures released by the RSPCA.

The animal welfare charity has released these images of a fox caught in a pastry wrapper and a gannet entangled in plastic, to highlight the dangers to wildlife caused by abandoned rubbish.

PPE being used during the coronavirus pandemic then thrown away has made the issue worse, the organisation said.

Across the whole of the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region 361 calls about litter-affected animals were made to the RSPCA in the 12-month period, the charity confirmed.

It’s now urging people to help protect animals by picking up any litter they see lying around as well as ensuring they “take their litter home with them or disposing of it properly and responsibly.”

Head of the RSPCA’s wildlife department, Adam Grogan, said: “Litter is one of the biggest hazards our wildlife faces today and the pandemic has just added to the problem, with many disposable masks just being discarded on the ground.

“These are a new danger to animals and we’ve been called out to rescue animals like ducks and gulls caught up in the masks’ elastic straps.

“That’s why we’re calling on the public to get involved in the Great British Spring Clean to help remove litter that may endanger animals.”

The RSPCA logged more than 10 calls a day about wildlife in distress across the UK, despite being in lockdown for much of the year.

As well as regular rubbish, the RSPCA deals with many animals which have suffered injuries from angling litter like discarded fishing line, hooks and plastic netting.

Nearly 40% (1,510) of all litter-related calls to the RSPCA last year were about animals specifically caught in fishing litter.

These included a seal being strangled by old fishing net, plus to dozens of swans injured by old fishing hooks or entangled in fishing line.

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