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Swans attacked on riverside

A desperate plea is being made to dog owners to keep their pets under control on the riverside following two serious swan attacks which left one bird dead and another seriously injured.

Cyril Bennis (47096838)
Cyril Bennis (47096838)

The first attack occurred on Saturday 8th May down on the Recreation Ground on the Riverside, and resulted in the bird having to be euthanised because of its horrific injuries.

A second swan was found injured on the following day in the same area and is being treated as a suspected dog attack.

The bird suffered significant injuries..

The incidents have reignited calls for dog owners to keep their animals under control on the riverside.

Cyril Bennis from Stratford Swan Rescue, said: “The second swan is being treated, but it’s not well enough for an X-ray yet but it is suspected of being attacked by a dog.

“The injuries to the first swan were ghastly, I’ve never seen the likes of those injuries, it was beyond recognition.

“People are worried about confronting irresponsible dog owners down there, they can often be offensive and won’t admit that their dog could do anything like that, I’ve experienced this threatening behaviour myself. Most dog owners are very responsible, they keep their animals under control, but there are some that just never seem to learn.

“I know there are signs down there to put the message across to dog owners, but they are a waste of time really, they just get ignored. At the end of the day this is not the district council’s responsibility, they can’t be down there 24/7, it is the responsibility of owners to keep their dogs under control and if they can’t do that then they shouldn’t have them.”

It has been a difficult year for Stratford’s swans with bird flu arriving on the river in 2020, resulting in a number of deaths.

Last year another swan also had to be put down after being shot by a catapult.

Sadly the problem of attacks on swans is not just limited to Stratford, Warwickshire’s Rural Crime Team is also highlighting the issue elsewhere in the county, following an incident at Bubbenhall Meadow.

The police are working with the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust to help protect the birds and are urging residents to be courteous and keep their dogs on a lead.

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