WA Seabird Rescue Albany backs campaign encouraging people to snip plastic rings for wildlife protection

Kellie BalaamAlbany Advertiser
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A duck caught up in a plastic ring.
Camera IconA duck caught up in a plastic ring. Credit: WA Seabird Rescue/WA Seabird Rescue

WA Seabird Rescue Albany has thrown its support behind a new Australian wildlife campaign urging people to cut plastic rings before disposing of them.

Australian Wildlife Society’s new campaign, Snip Rings for Wildlife, encourages people to protect wildlife by cutting through plastic rings, rubber bands and hair ties before throwing them away.

WASRA co-ordinator Carol Biddulph said the organisation would support the nationwide campaign.

“We are absolutely all for it, anything that can reduce the opportunity for native birds and animals getting trapped by plastic, and we really encourage people to get on board with this,” she said.

According to AWS, each year thousands of birds and aquatic animals such as platypuses, turtles and dolphins suffer significant injuries and die horrific deaths from discarded litter.

Any solid ring can be a death sentence for a waterbird or seabird.
Camera IconAny solid ring can be a death sentence for a waterbird or seabird.

Ms Biddulph said plastic rings and bands could affect birds in several ways.

“If they get trapped around their beaks it can led to starvation as they won’t be able to feed,” she said.

“They can get trapped around their wings or legs, which can cause severe pain or lead to amputations or deformity of that limb.

“Animals could ingest plastic thinking it might be food so they can be internally damaged. It can also limit movement so the animal might not be able to escape a predator — if it’s tied up it won’t be able to fly away, get back to water or even walk.”

Ms Biddulph said if a rescuer found an injured bird, it would go into rehabilitation.

“I encourage people to think about every piece of plastic they use — whether it’s necessary, to put rubbish in the bin, or take it home with you,” she said.

“The world is too precious to be clogged up in this rubbish.

“If we want our future generation to enjoy the nature as we do, we really need to look at our actions today for tomorrow.”

A dolphin in distress.
Camera IconA dolphin in distress. Credit: Supplied.

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