an­i­mal magic

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Dr Anne Fawcett Dr Anne Fawcett is a lec­turer in vet­eri­nary sci­ence at the Univer­sity of Syd­ney and a vet with Syd­ney An­i­mal Hos­pi­tals In­ner West. Read her blog: smal­l­an­i­maltalk.com

LIT­TER isn’t just un­sightly, it poses a real risk to an­i­mal wel­fare. The health of pets and wildlife alike is put at risk by lit­ter in stormwa­ter drains, on foot­paths and in pub­lic parks.

Cur­rently we’ve seen a run of dogs suf­fer­ing from vom­it­ing and di­ar­rhoea af­ter pick­ing up food scraps dis­carded in the park. It may be biodegrad­able, but the food you leave be­hind can be toxic to an­i­mals and make them un­well.

The prob­lem is that an­i­mals don’t know any bet­ter, so if it is ed­i­ble — or smells like some­thing ed­i­ble — they will find and eat it. The worst of­fend­ers are bones, corn cobs and peach pits, as they be­come read­ily lodged in the in­testines of dogs.

We’ve also seen cases of wildlife en­tan­gled in string. If swal­lowed by any an­i­mal, it can dam­age the in­testines, caus­ing se­vere ill­ness and — if not treated rapidly — death. Plas­tic bags, fish­ing lines and other rub­bish are no­to­ri­ous for chok­ing and in­jur­ing our marine life.

If you do have food scraps to dis­card when you are out and about, en­sure they are placed in a se­cure bin. If the bin is full, take them with you.

Reusable con­tain­ers, bags and cof­fee cups are much more friendly to the en­vi­ron­ment and an­i­mals.

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