End of the line for loch swans?

Swan injured in fishing line at Linlithgow loch
Swan injured in fishing line at Linlithgow loch

The Scottish SPCA is urging fishermen at Linlithgow Loch to dispose of their used equipment responsibly after a swan became trapped in fishing line and died.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted by a member of the public when the female adult swan collapsed at the side of the Loch on Wednesday, February 11. It is believed the swan had suffered for a number of days.

Despite the best efforts of the Royal Dick Veterinary School in Edinburgh, the swan could not be saved.

Animal rescue officer Fiona Thorburn said: “When I first examined the swan the fishing wire was tightly wrapped around her neck and she had a particularly bad wound.

“She was very weak and dehydrated as the wire was preventing food from passing down her throat.

“Her mate was trying to entice her back into the water but she was unable to move.

“She had an operation to remove 500 grams of food from her oesophagus which was trapped.

“Although the operation was a success, sadly she was very weak and died from her injuries a few hours later.

“It’s particularly upsetting as it could have been so easily prevented.”

“We are urging anyone fishing at Linlithgow Loch to show consideration to the natural environment and its wild inhabitants.”

Andrew McAlpine, spokesman for the Forth Area Federation of Anglers, said: “We are saddened to hear of this unecessary death and the fact the swan had to suffer as a result.

“We have signs up urging anglers to dispose of line repsonsibly and not to just dump it; there’s no need as we supply plenty of bins.

“We are very conscious of the fact that angling nylon can be exceptionally dangerous to birdlife when they become trapped in it and do all we can to prevent it.

“We will take steps to review the situation and ascertain whether we can do more to police the problem.”