The RSPCA has received almost 400 reports about animals found severely injured, trapped, mutilated, choked or even dead from carelessly discarded litter in Hampshire over the past four years.

It ranks Hampshire as the county with the eighth biggest litter problem in the UK, with a total of 395 reports to the RSPCA from 2020 to 2023.

The shocking new data also reveals that nationally, the RSPCA received an average of 13 reports per day last year during the peak months of May, June, July and August, when there is a particular litter hazard for animals. Now the RSPCA is urging people to help "create a better world for every animal" by getting involved in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean’ (March 15 to 31). Individuals, groups or schools can pledge their support – and say how many bags of litter they intend to pick up – with more than 400,000 collected in total last year.  

Distressing incidents dealt with by the RSPCA include a hedgehog entangled in old barbed wire, a fox cub with litter caught round his neck, a goose with an old drinks can stuck to her lower beak and a Great Black Backed Gull whose leg became almost completely detached due to old fishing line cutting in.

Amongst mammals, litter-related reports to the RSPCA were highest for foxes, hedgehogs and deer, while among wild birds, swans, pigeons and gulls bore the greatest brunt of discarded rubbish. The RSPCA even received reports of family pets such as cats and dogs being affected by litter.