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Scottish SPCA reiterates dangers of litter after gull found dangling by fishing line

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gull with hook and line

The Scottish SPCA has once again reiterated the danger to wildlife caused by litter after they were called to a herring gull who was found dangling over the side of a boat by fishing line in Carloway Harbour on the Isle of Lewis.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity was alerted to the gull on 26 July by a concerned member of the public.

Scottish SPCA auxiliary inspector, Maggie Adkins, said, “The gull was hanging over the side of a boat from a fishing line it had swallowed.

“On attending I realised the vessel was too far out to get to without the use of another boat.

“I called at the closest house to ask if they knew who the boat belonged to or if they knew anyone that had a boat that could assist.

“They advised me they had a boat and were happy to help.

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brothers and boat assisting with rescue

“Brothers Norman and Calum Iain MacLeod took their boat out from the harbour, retrieved the gull, placed it into an animal carrier I provided and returned to shore.

“I’m incredibly grateful for their help as without them I’d have had no way to reach the injured bird.

“Sadly, the difficult decision was made to euthanise the gull due to the severity of its injuries. The bird had a fishing hook embedded through its tongue and beak, which would have been causing it extreme suffering.

“I’m grateful to the member of the public who spotted the gull as otherwise it would have continued to suffer tremendously.

“All litter has the potential to be dangerous or lethal to wildlife. These incidents are easily avoidable if people take their rubbish away and dispose of it responsibly.”

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