Wakefield: Charity clean-up after litter injures animals

Animals are being injured or killed by litter according to the RSPCA.

David Holgate from the charity organised a clean-up of the River Calder in Wakefield after seeing a goose tangled in fishing line.

He said he was "shocked at the amount of rubbish on this stretch of the river" and launched a litter pick.

The RSPCA had almost 10,500 reports of animals hurt by litter in the past three years, including a fox with its head stuck in a plastic bottle.

The charity said almost half of incidents reported in 2022 involved animals caught in fishing litter but it is also worried about the danger posed by discarded vapes, which contain poisonous substances.

Mr Holgate said litter "is one of the biggest and most frustrating hazards facing our wildlife today".

"As we head into the warmer months, people will be spending more time outside which could exacerbate the problem - and that's why we really need the public, including here in West Yorkshire, to help us keep their communities clean.

"It'll also be a time where we see more baby wildlife starting to be born, and young animals are particularly at risk from carelessly discarded litter."

A team of seven volunteers collected 25 sacks of litter at Thornes Lane Wharf and a further 14 bags at Pugneys Country Park on 21 March.

The RSPCA is urging people not to litter and to help clean up discarded rubbish in their community.