News Wildthings Runs Ban The Bread Campaign



WildThings runs ‘Ban the Bread’ campaign
25th May 2018

By Karen Pickwick
WildThings product manager Camille Ashforth (left) and Debbie Rowlinson, of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, launch the campaign at Brockholes Nature Reserve, near Preston, in Lancashire
Pet food brand WildThings has teamed up with rescue charity Swan Lifeline for a new campaign to ‘Ban the Bread’ from rivers, lakes and ponds.
The company aims to educate the public about the dangers of feeding loaves and crusts to ducks, swans, geese and other waterfowl.
The traditional family pastime stretches back centuries, but bread – particularly the white processed variety – can lead to major problems for aquatic birds and their environment, WildThings warns.
Swan Lifeline, based at Cuckoo Weir Island, in Berkshire, less than a mile from The Queen’s Windsor estate, has rescued and treated more than 30,000 birds over the last 25 years.
Trustee Caroline Simpson said: “We are delighted to be teaming up with WildThings on this new and very important campaign.
“Feeding aquatic birds such as ducks and swans inappropriate food can cause all sorts of problems, including Angel Wing which makes them incapable of flying.
“It can be sorted if we can get them when they are very young – the treatment involves splinting the wing. But if we don’t get to them quickly enough the wing has to be amputated.
“All wild birds have to live in a natural environment and that means they need to be able to fly, otherwise they can’t be left in the wild.”
The Canal and River Trust, which works to protect the 2,000 miles of waterways in England and Wales, has put its support behind Ban the Bread.
“We welcome any campaign that educates the public on the dangers of feeding bread to ducks, swans and other waterfowl, which is a major issue,” a spokesman said.
“Lack of nutritional value, encouraging algae growth and attracting vermin to canals and rivers are just some of the problems it creates.
“But ‘Banning the Bread’ doesn’t mean people cannot still enjoy the experience of feeding the ducks.
“Instead, we recommend sweetcorn, lettuce, frozen peas, oats, bird seed and rice as great alternatives.”
WildThings, which is manufactured by Lancashire-based Pets Choice as part of its Spike’s World range, has a selection of products for wild animals.
As part of the campaign it is working with wildlife centre visitors and schoolchildren through leaflets, activity sheets and samples. A website has also been created to offer easy-to-access information.
WildThings has also partnered with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust to help promote the campaign.
The Trust, part of the UK’s largest conservation charity, looks after hundreds of wildlife sites from Lancaster to Liverpool and Greater Manchester.
Tony Raeburn, CEO of Pets Choice, said: “Ban the Bread is an important campaign to educate the public and one that we are proud to put our name to.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Swan Lifeline, whose volunteers carry out excellent and vital work. They see at first hand the problems that feeding bread creates.
“It is understandable that many people are unaware of the harm their trip to the duck pond can do to the wildlife and environment.
“The aim of Ban the Bread is to give them the right information to make an informed choice and then to pass those lessons on to their kids.”
The WildThings range includes Swan & Duck Food that contains all the vital nutrients and vitamins waterfowl need.
Product manager Camille Ashforth said: “It is designed specifically for our web-footed feathered friends and won’t sink to the bottom as soon as you throw it in – helping prevent water pollution by remaining edible long enough to get eaten.”