PEOPLE leaving litter in the countryside have been accused of putting animals’ lives at risk.

The RSPCA has spoken out after a deer with rubbish attached to its antlers was caught up on a barbed wire fence in the New Forest.

The animal had to be rescued by the charity after failing to break free from the fence.

RSPCA animal collection officer Katie Wood, who was joined at the scene by Inspector Patrick Bailey, said the drama began when the deer became entangled in bailing twine.

She added: “Rubbish trailing from its antlers then got stuck on the barbed wire fence.

New Forest Post:

“We managed to get hold of the deer, cut all of the rubbish free and release it back into the wild with no injuries apart from a broken antler.”

The RSPCA has released pictures of the “trapped and distressed” deer in a bid to highlight the risk posed to wildlife from litter left in the countryside.

Katie said: “Netting, rope and rubbish can be dangerous to wildlife and this deer was very lucky to escape without serious injury.

“Sadly we are contacted regularly about animals tangled in netting such as bailing twine, goal nets and discarded rope.

“Sometimes they can be struggle for so long to free themselves that they suffer horrific injuries - sometimes fatal. We’re appealing to people to always dispose of rubbish responsibly - it could save an animal’s life.”

The RSPCA receives about 5,000 rubbish-related calls every year - about 14 a day

A spokesman said: “As many pet owners go directly to vets, and many wild animals are never found, the actual number of animals injured by litter is much higher.

“Everyday objects that seem perfectly safe can become hazardous when found accidentally by animals.

“Protecting them is easy. Dispose of your rubbish responsibly by recycling, re-using or simply putting it in the bin.”