Oxford City Council wants you to stop feeding the animals with litter.
Each year, the RSPCA receives around 5,000 calls about the damage rubbish causes to wildlife and pets.
It also has a detrimental effect on personal wellbeing and harms the environment.
This Bank Holiday weekend, let’s all think about the simple steps we can take to keep people, animals and places safe.
What can you do to help?
It’s simple, no matter the reason – you may be running late or the bin might be full – but make sure you keep your rubbish with you until you find a bin.
If we all take care of our litter we can make the world a better place to live, for our wildlife and for us. Bag it, bin it or take it home.
Reflecting on a tough year
There’s no doubt the last 13 months have been difficult. Catastrophic, unhappy and so very challenging at times.
But, as spring beckons a welcoming hand, we can finally get outside again properly.
Keeping our parks and green spaces clean protects the welfare of the community, helps tackle the climate emergency and helps prevent injury to wildlife and domestic pets.
It only takes a second to pick it rubbish, bag it, bin it or take it home. By taking small individual steps people can make a huge stride towards protecting our environment.
Everyone should be able to enjoy our city. We all need to take personal responsibility for picking up our litter, bagging it, binning it or just taking it home.
Learning from our mistakes
Last year, on Port Meadow alone, ODS staff were getting up at the crack of dawn and clearing up approximately three tonnes of rubbish a day during the warmer months.
Furthermore, two cows, including a seven month old calf, died as the result of eating plastic bags, balloons and other left behind rubbish.
Other grazing cows and horses sustained multiple injuries, including glass cuts. ODS staff also had to rescue swans that became entangled in rubbish.
During April’s brief spell of warmth, litter was again strewn across our parks and greenspaces.
This bank holiday weekend, the council wants people to consider their own actions before discarding rubbish.
“We are so fortunate to have so many parks, waterways and meadows in such a small city.
“With a bank holiday on the cards, we should all be able to enjoy them.
“Sadly, a tiny minority of individuals don’t think about the consequences of their actions when they drop litter.
“It causes direct harm to animals, spoils the experience of being outdoors for children and families and damages the environment.
“We want everyone to be able to enjoy a peaceful long weekend. We all deserve it.
"Just don’t feed the animals. Bag it, bin it or take it home!”
Chris Bell, Green Spaces Development Manager for Oxford City Council