RSPCA has revealed that it answers a call every two hours about pets or wildlife injured by litter, according to new figures.
From a hedgehog with a deep neck wound from an old elastic band, a swan with an old fishing hook stuck in its throat and a seal close to death from a neck injury caused by a plastic frisbee, the animal charity answered 5,081 calls about animals affected by litter in 2017.
The latest annual figures from the animal charity showed that seven out of 10 calls were about animals affected by angling litter (3,685) including old hooks, lures, netting and other fishing paraphernalia, and the rest were about general litter (1,396) such as plastic products and tin cans.
According to the RSPCA data, amongst mammals, domestic cats were most affected (146) followed by foxes (106), deer (74) and hedgehogs (53).
RSPCA head of wildlife Adam Grogan said: “It’s shocking how many litter-related incidents we see, particularly as these kinds of animal injuries and deaths are entirely avoidable.
“It is good that there’s a global spotlight on how we use and dispose of plastic and other litter so that people understand how their rubbish is affecting animals and the environment. Every month our officers, wildlife centres and hospitals deal with hundreds of cases where pets or wildlife have become caught up in – and even died – from carelessly discarded items.”