We know that plastic is a big problem and is getting into fish and ocean animals. But now we have evidence of it affecting land animals too. In India, a cow from Thirumullaivoyal was brought into a veterinary clinic in Tamil Nadu and received surgery to remove 52kg (114.64 lbs) of plastic from its stomach.
The animal was found to have plastic, pins, needles and other waste in its belly. The cow’s milk production had dropped, it was having trouble using the bathroom and it was kicking its stomach with its legs. Owners brought it into the veterinary hospital, where surgeons spent over five hours removing waste from its stomach.
Veterinarians detected plastic during a rectal exam, which was confirmed by X-rays and ultrasounds. 75% of the rumen was filled with plastic. The surgeons then spent time removing the plastic and repairing the stomach lining and walls.
The clinic director said of the plastic found, “The incident exemplifies the threat to animals posed by plastics discarded indiscriminately by the public. Even though we have removed plastics from cows in the past, the quantity this time — 52 kg — is unprecedented.”
Watch the video to see more about the cow and the surgery
India has been working to reduce its dependence on plastic materials. Prime Minister Modi picked up plastic along the beach after the country had to delay its single-use plastic ban. And some towns in India were offering rice in exchange for plastic.
Places around the world like Tel Aviv, California, Baltimore, Scotland and many more are banning various single-use plastics and others that are coming up with creative ways to recycle and use plastic waste.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners and using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, avoiding microbeads!
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