PLASTIC continues to be a "growing threat" as the RSPCA recorded more than 600 incidents of animals involved in litter in the south west in 2018.

The number of animals affected by plastic litter in England and Wales was also at an all-time high, increasing by 22 per cent in the last four years.

There has also been a rise in seals affected by plastic litter, with 28 recorded in England and Wales in 2018 compared to five in 2015.

The numbers of litter incidents affecting animals for Wiltshire was also up, 12 in 2018, up from 10 in 2017.

The animal welfare charity has recorded a rise in incidents affecting animals involving plastic litter from 473 in 2015 to 579 in 2018.

The RSPCA recorded 618 incidents about animals involved with litter in the South West - 179 of which involve plastic.

Plastic litter is also a problem for some water birds, with incidents involving geese rising from 37 to 70 and swans rising from 40 to 48 during the same four-year period.

RSPCA Head of Wildlife, Adam Grogan said: “This shocking rise in plastic litter incidents suggests that plastic is a growing threat to animals.

“Every year, the RSPCA deals with increasing numbers of mammals, birds and reptiles that have become entangled or affected in some way by discarded plastic.

"From seals with deep infected wounds caused by plastic frisbees cutting into their necks, to swans and geese trapped in fishing line or netting, plastic is clearly having an increasing impact on animal welfare.

“Our latest data sadly reflects the wider litter crisis taking place right now across the globe and action is urgently needed.

"It’s up to every one of us to do our bit in the war against litter.”

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