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'Don't feed us junk food' plead ducks on the breadline on east London's Regent's Canal

PUBLISHED: 12:54 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 18:00 24 March 2015

Mummy duck and her chicks need feeding... but no bread, please!

Mummy duck and her chicks need feeding... but no bread, please!

Archant

Crumbs! Don't feed us bread—it's junk food. That's the message ducks and other fowls would quack if they knew what was good for them.

Luckless heron... stuck in algae overgrowth in a heatwave summer in Victoria Park, next to Regent's CanalLuckless heron... stuck in algae overgrowth in a heatwave summer in Victoria Park, next to Regent's Canal

Trouble is, well-intentioned humans throw bits of bread to the wild-life along east London’s Regent’s Canal and River Lea that is harmful and also encourages rats.

Now the Canal and River Trust which looks after Britain’s waterways says bread is destroying the feathered creatures’ habitats.

Instead, the trust suggests feeding them oats, corn—or even defrosted frozen peas.

Starchy snacks like bread can also lead to overcrowding, stress and create excessive amounts of bird excrement, it points out.

“Bread is not great for a duck’s health because it’s nothing like their natural diet,” the Canal trust’s environment manager Peter Birch said.

“People should swap it for healthier treats like oats, corn, or defrosted frozen peas and prevent the starchy ‘junk food’ clogging up the waterways and damaging the environment.”

Some six million loaves of starchy bread are thrown into Britain’s canals and rivers every year, damaging hundreds of thousands of nesting sites, the Canal & River Trust revealed. Soggy bread causes an unhealthy algae growth, spreads disease and encourages rats.

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