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Scottish SPCA pledges 500 miles to our Summer Clean

07 June 2021

As part of our Clean Up Scotland Summer Clean, we are asking people to pledge time to picking up litter from 28 May until 20 June where one hour equals three miles.

Staff members from the Scottish SPCA will be taking part in the Paws on Plastic initiative, alongside Keep Scotland Beautiful’s campaign, encouraging people to pick up at least two pieces of litter per dog walk.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity received 273 calls to its helpline about animals affected by litter from January to May 31 2021. That’s almost two incidents every day. This is a similar figure to the same period in 2020 when there were 265 accounts.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said, “We see first-hand the devastating consequences litter can have on animals. Seals and birds get caught up in fishing line or wire or animals can ingest small pieces of rubbish and choke or die.

“Liam is one of the vets at our National Wildlife Rescue Centre and he took some shocking pictures of litter and plastic that he has removed from animals.

“The sad thing is that these injuries and deaths are entirely avoidable if people just disposed of their rubbish responsibly.

“We are proud to be making a difference by taking part in Paws on Plastic for the Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Summer Clean.”

Barry Fisher, our CEO, said, “We are delighted that the Scottish SCPA has pledged 500 miles to keep Scotland beautiful this month.  We’ve warned of a looming litter emergency and our surveys show an increase in the number of sites surveyed being severely littered – but the Scottish SCPA has seen first-hand the horrific impact litter can have on animals. 

“With the support of thousands of people across Scotland who are pledging to get outside and do some litter picking as part of our Clean Up Scotland Summer Clean this month, we know that together we can make a difference.  Not only will removing litter from our country help protect our wildlife and domestic animals from potential injury, it will also help our own health and wellbeing and that of our economy.” 

The Scottish SPCA is dedicated to improving the lives of animals through protecting environments and habitats to ensure Scotland’s wildlife can thrive for years to come.

Mike continues: “Picking up litter will help people respect their environment and protect animals from the dangers of litter.

“No matter how small, it has the potential to be hazardous or lethal to pets, wildlife and farm animals.

“The public should exercise caution and be careful when picking up litter and we ask that children taking part be accompanied by a responsible adult. We recommend picking up litter with a dog bag or litter picker to avoid direct contact with any litter and do not pick up anything that could be harmful like glass or sharp objects. Any syringes found should not be picked up but reported to the local authority Emergency Waste Uplift informing them of the location of the syringe.

“Anything that can be done to protect animals is so appreciated and it will have a wonderful effect on the local community too.”

Help us protect wildlife and improve the environment across Scotland - pledge your time here: https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/springclean 

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