RSPCA rescues duck with plastic ring around neck

The RSPCA has issued a litter warning after officers rescued a domestic duck with a plastic ring stuck around its neck.

Animal Collection Officer (ACO) Lauren Bradshaw, ACO Jessica Pierce and Animal Welfare Officer (AWO) Steve Wickham attended to help the duck which was on the canal near Sellers Square in Manchester on Sunday 23 August.

The plastic ring was the type which holds beer or soft drink cans together and had been caught around the duck’s neck.

ACO Lauren said: “This is why it’s important that people dispose of their litter properly. Litter can have such a detrimental impact on our wildlife and this duck was very fortunate that the plastic ring did not cause any injuries. It’s also important to cut any plastic rings, so that if they are discarded or disposed of, they will not be able to trap animals like this.

“As water trained officers, myself and Steve entered the water at different ends of the canal. Our plan was to round-up the duck and get him to a bridge as the width of the canal is smaller there and would make it easier to catch. The plucky duck managed to escape us a couple of times but eventually we managed to net and catch him.

“Luckily, the plastic was quite loose around his neck, so the duck wasn’t injured but it was causing him discomfort. This was a domestic duck, so he was transferred to a duck sanctuary in Accrington by my colleague Jess.”

The RSPCA has received more than 21,600 reports of animals injured or caught in litter over the past five years.

The animal welfare charity is urging people who are going out more since restrictions were eased to ensure they are taking their litter home with them or disposing of it properly and responsibly.