Wildlife latest victim of drug abuse
HOBART'S seagull population has been caught up in the city's growing abuse of nitrous oxide, or 'nang' canisters.
The state's peak drug and alcohol body, the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Council, had observed the use of nangs growing in Southern Tasmania.
The small canisters of nitrous oxide are usually used as a propellant for whipped cream, however they are also used by people to feel intoxicated or high.
Now the disposal of the canisters - or lack thereof - is causing issues for Tasmanian wildlife.
Kelvin Ball spotted some curious gulls pecking at about eight canisters at Bitlon Bay, Claremont, with some birds looking to be attempting to eat them.
"That park is home to many type of bird life and as you can see the seagulls are very curious," Mr Ball said.
He said he had also spotted used nangs on the ground in other spots around Hobart, such as at the car park near the Bedlam Walls track on Saundersons Rd at Risdon, under the Bowen Bridge on the Eastern Shore, and a car park off Risdon Road, Lutana.
Environment and Parks Minister Roger Jaensch said the community can report rubbish dumping through the Report Rubbish website tool.
"Tasmania's environment is one of our greatest assets and it is incumbent on everyone to keep Tasmania clean and protect our wildlife," he said.
"Anyone with knowledge of illegal dumping of litter should report it to the Litter Hotline on 1300 135 513 or at epa.tas.gov.au."
Under the Litter Act 2007, penalties for littering in Tasmania range from a fine of $332 for a single item of personal litter, such as a cigarette butt, right through to $33,600 for large volumes.
Originally published as Wildlife latest victim of Tasmanian drug abuse