The RSPCA is urging families not to waste their Halloween pumpkins and to recycle and use them as animal food instead.
All sorts of pets can eat pumpkin, so the RSPCA is encouraging anyone who carved a pumpkin not to throw the remnants away.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “Halloween is over for another year and that means hundreds of thousands of carved pumpkins are at risk of being wasted and chucked in the bin. But lots of animals like to munch on pumpkins so we’d like to encourage families not waste them but to feed them to the wildlife in their gardens or perhaps even to their pets.”
Squirrels, foxes, badgers and birds all like pumpkin, so people could leave chopped up pumpkin outside in dishes for wild animals to eat if they choose.
Pigs and chickens also like pumpkin o anyone who keeps them as pets could chop up their Jack-o-lantern for them.
The RSPCA advise that although pumpkin makes great enrichment for pigs and chickens it is illegal to feed waste food to livestock farm animals. They can only be given pumpkin if it hasn’t been through a kitchen first.
Pigs naturally forage and root for food, eating a wide range of vegetables, while chickens enjoy vegetables to supplement their pellet and grain diet.
Pumpkin is also safe for horses to eat although must only be fed sparingly as any rapid changes to their diet can cause colic. It must be cut into slices and we’d urge people not to feed other people’s horses without permission.
A spokesperson added: “Wildlife can struggle to find food this time of year so some chunks of tasty pumpkin could be very welcome. Before you feed you leftover pumpkin to any animals however, please make sure you remove tealight holders and any traces of candle wax. And please check the inside flesh of the pumpkin. It it’s mushy and mouldy inside or scorched and burned then it may not be suitable for animals to eat. You could still recycle it as compost though.”