Animal charity warning after swan swallows fishing tackle

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Louise Hume tries to help a swan that had swallowed fishing tackle. Pic: SSPCA
Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Louise Hume tries to help a swan that had swallowed fishing tackle. Pic: SSPCA

Since the start of the year, the Scottish SPCA has been alerted to a high number of animals who have had injuries from fishing tackle.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity recently received a call from a concerned member of the public who had encountered a swan in Lanarkshire with fishing wire hanging from its mouth and lodged down its throat.

Sadly, it has been mainly birds and seals that have become entangled in improperly discarded fishing debris.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Louise Hume said: “I was alerted to the swan on November 25.

“I tried to gently remove the wire but it was catching on its throat. Luckily, the swan was still managing to eat and swim and was otherwise in good bodily condition, so I think the injury was fairly recent.

“When I assessed the fishing line, I found it was pretty far down the swan’s throat so it was taken to our wildlife centre in Fishcross for assessment and treatment.

“Thankfully the swan made a full recovery and was released back into the wild. However, it’s a sad fact that not all animals are as lucky.

“The vast majority of people who fish are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment but we want to remind anyone fishing not to leave their litter as even something as small as fishing line could be dangerous and potentially lethal to wildlife.”

Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.