RSPCA warns of increased litter dangers as lockdown eases

A fox with a tin can stuck on its head. Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA has received more than 21,600 reports of animals injured or caught in litter over the past five years, according to new statistics.

In Staffordshire alone, 658 calls about animals affected by litter were made to the RSPCA across that period.

The animal charity is urging people who are going out more since lockdown restrictions were eased to ensure they are taking their litter home with them or disposing of it properly and responsibly.

It comes after rubbish was left in parks and green spaces last weekend. People across the Midlands voiced their frustrations over the litter found in beauty spots.

And last month, the animal charity rescued a fox cub which had become trapped in netting near a primary school in Staffordshire.

250

Total calls about angling and general litter in Northamptonshire from 2015-2019.

292

Total calls about angling and general litter in Warwickshire from 2015-2019.

321

Total calls about angling and general litter in Leicestershire from 2015-2019.

406

Total calls about angling and general litter in Derbyshire from 2015-2019.

546

Total calls about angling and general litter in Lincolnshire from 2015-2019.

658

Total calls about angling and general litter in Staffordshire from 2015-2019.

The charity’s frontline officers are regularly called to help animals trapped or injured by litter.

The head of the RSPCA’s wildlife team says the majority of anglers do dispose of their litter properly, but it is "frustrating that those who don’t possibly don’t realise how dangerous it is to animals".

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.

Head of the RSPCA’s wildlife team Adam Grogan

He added: "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.”