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27th Jun, 2022

Warning to dog and boat owners after deaths of swan in Redditch and cygnets in Droitwich

A WARNING has gone out to dog owners and boat users to help ensure the safety of swans and other birds and wildlife.

The plea from Wychbold Swan Resue comes after a swan had to be euthanised after an attack by a dog in Arrow Valley Lake.

The swan suffered a fractured left wing and had a damaged right wing and was taken to Southcrest Vets but nothing could be done to save it.

John Stewart, from the rescue centre, said: “We found the swan on Saturday and think the injuries happened a couple of days before as the infection was already setting in.

“We are urging dog users to keep their pets on leads – not just around swans but all wildlife.

“In places like Arrow Valley there are plenty of places where people can let their dogs off, away from wildlife.”

In another incident last Tuesday in Vines Park, Droitwich, nine cygnets born that morning were found dead by midday and it is thought they could have been struck by a boat on the canal, although that has not been confirmed.

John added: “We can’t say for sure that this is what happened and we are not blaming anyone but we think it is a good time to remind boat users and canoeists to be aware of the wildlife they share the canal with.

“When it comes to cygnets, because they are not yet very strong or quick, they cannot get themselves out of harm’s way when they need to.”

Centre thanks residents for Avian Flu support

Wychbold Swan Rescue has praised everyone who helped it get through the bout of Avian Flu the centre fell victim to at the end of last year.

An appeal was launched through the Standard after the outbreak which came after it had been unable to fund-raise for 18 months because of the pandemic.

A total of 60 swans, geese and ducks had to be euthanised after the disease found its way into the centre.

It was unclear how the infection started at the rescue as there is netting over the top to prevent wild birds from landing inside but it had received numerous calls to rescue swans which were either injured or not very well.

The appeal yielded more than £2,000 via the Facebook page and others sent in cash and cheques, including Springfield Park in Kidderminster which donated £200.

John added: “We are so grateful to everyone who contributed – it was a tough time and an expensive one.”

It now looks like the centre is Avian Flu free with final tests being carried out on some chickens which have been taken out for examination. Chickens were only allowed out from May 2 after DEFRA insisted they had to be put in barns until the Avian Flu pandemic subsided.

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