RSPCA warns of increased litter dangers in South Yorkshire as lockdown eases

The RSPCA is urging South Yorkshire residents going out more since lockdown restrictions were eased to take their rubbish home after new stats revealed 21,600 reports of animals injured or caught in litter over the past five years.

By Sophie Wills
Thursday, 4th June 2020, 4:38 pm
Updated Friday, 5th June 2020, 4:16 pm

Since lockdown restrictions were loosened, South Yorkshire residents have been taking to the county’s parks and open spaces to enjoy the recent warm weather.

But many areas have seen a dramatic rise in littering as a result, sparking an appeal by the welfare charity to dispose of rubbish carefully.

Around 395 calls about animals affected by litter were made to the RSPCA between 2015-2019.

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Pictures by RSPCA.

Within that period, RSPCA’s emergency hotline received 6,466 calls about animals affected by general litter, like tin cans, plastic bottles and elastic bands.

There were also 15,183 reports relating to animals injured or caught in angling litter and a a further 12,904 reports of animals and birds trapped in netting.

The charity’s 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.

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.”

If you’re concerned about the welfare of an animal contact the RSPCA’s emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999.

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