Zagreb Veterinary Medicine Faculty: Cut Straps on Disposable Masks!

Lauren Simmonds

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The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way in which we live in a way that would have been unimaginable not so long ago. What we now think of as somewhat normal, such as throwing disposable surgical masks away in bins, can have dire consequences for curious animals who get themselves into predicaments as a result.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Zagreb Veterinary Medicine Faculty has sent out a warning to the general public regarding the surgical/medical masks that have become an indispensable part of our everyday life ever since the ongoing coronavirus pandemic struck Croatia and much of the rest of the world back at the beginning of 2020.

“Disposable protective materials, such as face masks and gloves, pose a danger to the health and lives of many types of wildlife. From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic until today, numerous cases of the entanglement of birds, fish, bats, foxes, hedgehogs, crabs and octopuses in the strings of these disposable masks and disposable surgical/latex gloves have been recorded,” they stated from the Zagreb Veterinary Medicine Faculty.

”Entanglement can lead to both acute and chronic consequences. We consider an animal’s death by drowning or suffocation to be an acute consequence, while the chronic consequences include the fatigue/exhaustion of animals [who have become caught in the mask’s strings], their inability to feed, injuries or infections as a result, or the need for amputation, which can ultimately also result in the death of the animal,” they warn.

“We’d lie to kindly ask you to make sure you cut the rubber bands on the disposable face masks and gloves and then properly dispose of them in designated places,” they concluded.

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