The Scottish SPCA urges people to keep dogs under control after attacks on swans

The Scottish SPCA is urging people to be keep dogs under control after attacks on swans.


We have been alerted to a number of incidents across Scotland where a swan has been injured, killed or humanely put to sleep due to a dog attack.

Earlier this month, a swan sustained injuries at Straiton Pond Nature Reserve in Midlothian and the most recent report was at Victoria Park in Glasgow. 

Chief inspector Paul Anderson said, “We were alerted to the injured swan at Straiton Pond on 30 April.

“A concerned member of the public saw the bird had injuries consistent with a dog attack.  He was also unable to walk on his right leg.

“The caller was worried the swan was out of the water and sitting in an area popular with people and dogs and was making no effort to protect his mate.

“Despite a number of attempts by our animal rescue officers, they were unable to contain the swan.

“After securing a boat to aid our efforts, we managed to catch him.

“The swan was immediately taken to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre and vets concluded the wing injury had been caused by a dog bite which could have been treated.

“Of greater concern to the vets was a badly arthritic leg that had become infected.  This wound and condition was deemed untreatable and in the interests of the bird’s welfare, the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep.

“This condition meant he wouldn’t have been able to survive in the wild as he wouldn’t have been able to get in and out of the water, fly and evade danger. 

“It could have been the leg injury that that made the swan an easy target for the dog in the first place.

“The swan would have experienced immense pain and suffering due to the severity of the dog attack wounds. 

“This is a stark reminder to dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead around swans, and all wildlife, at all times.  

“Anyone with information about either of these incidents should contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 where calls can be taken anonymously.”

Scottish SPCA Wildlife Assistant with deer fawns

Wildlife rescue

Every year the Scottish SPCA rescues thousands of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.

In 2017 we cared for over 9,600 wild animals - a new record!

We help every kind of wild animal in Scotland and are the only national animal welfare charity which rescues birds.

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