SSPCA warning for anglers

The cormorant was found with the hook, including a large artificial fish, stuck in its beak.
The cormorant was found with the hook, including a large artificial fish, stuck in its beak.

The Scottish SPCA is urging fishing enthusiasts to clear up after themselves after rescuing a bird found with a fishing line through its beak.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity rescued the cormorant after he was spotted injured by a member of the public at Bothwell Castle on Friday.

The cormorant was taken to the charity’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross to receive immediate veterinary attention.

Animal rescue officer Amy Robb said: “The fishing hook had gone through the bird’s lower beak and the tackle, including a large artificial fish, was hanging from its beak.

“The poor thing was unable to close its beak and he was clearly very distressed as he had managed to tangle himself up in the line in a desperate bid to free himself.

“The hook had been attached to him overnight which would have been causing him a great deal of pain and discomfort.

“Thankfully, the dedicated team at our Wildlife Rescue Centre were able to successfully remove the hook and the cormorant has made a full recovery and has since been released back into the wild.

“Although the majority of fishing enthusiasts are responsible and clear away their lines and tackle after use, sadly, there is a minority who do not.

“General rubbish such as glass, cans and plastic also pose a significant risk to animals so we are appealing to members of the public to consider the welfare of the wildlife in the area and clear up after themselves.”

In May a swan had to be rescued by the RSPCA at Spike Island in Widnes after being spotted by the public with a triple-barbed pike hook stuck in her throat.

The tackle had not done too much damage and she was rescued in time to be able to be treated by the vet before being released back to the wild.

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code challenges the public keep our countryside as we would all wish to find it, and setting themselves the challenge of leaving no trace of their visit.

It states: “Take away all your litter. Take particular care not to drop things like bottles, cans or plastic bags as these can damage machinery and if eaten by a farm animal or a wild animal they can cause severe injury or death.”

Anyone who discovers an injured or distressed wild animal should call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.