Plea to Norfolk anglers to protect wildlife

A swan which is amongst the birds that have been injured by fishing litter. Picture: RSPCA

A swan which is amongst the birds that have been injured by fishing litter. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: RSPCA

Recycling facilities are being introduced at a Norfolk animal hospital in a bid to reduce the number of birds injured by discarded fishing tackle.

A swan which is amongst the birds that have been injured by fishing litter. Picture: RSPCA

A swan which is amongst the birds that have been injured by fishing litter. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: RSPCA

The RSPCA says it received 3,274 reports of birds and animals injured by hooks, line and other items last year.

It has introduced recycling facilities to its hospitals including East Winch Wildlife Centre, near King's Lynn.

Casualties being treated there include a gull found at Old Hunstanton last week with a hook stuck in its throat, which had been left tethered to a 150g weight.

Vets at the centre are also treating an adult swan which was brought in from the Peterborough area last month after he was found with a hook also stuck in his neck.

A swan which is amongst the birds that have been injured by fishing litter. Picture: RSPCA

A swan which is amongst the birds that have been injured by fishing litter. Picture: RSPCA - Credit: RSPCA

Holly Barber, anti-litter campaign manager for the RSPCA said: "We're hoping that our new recycling facilities will help reduce the terrible toll that is taken on animals by carelessly discarded fishing tackle.

"The majority of anglers do dispose of their litter properly and it is frustrating that those who don't may not have realised how dangerous it is to animals. Discarded line in particular is a terrible hazard for wildlife, especially as it can be almost invisible.

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"We received well over 3,000 reports last year about animals - mostly swans, geese and ducks - affected by hooks and lines. We hope anglers and others who may have found discarded fishing paraphernalia will help to reduce the number of these incidents by using the new recycling points at our Wildlife Centres and at other points around the UK."

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