Dogs on leads warning after reported attacks on swans
PUBLISHED: 07:30 15 January 2019
Dog owners have been told to keep their dogs on leads after a wildlife group volunteer reported seeing hounds chasing swans at a beauty spot.
Roy Spicer - the so-called Swanman of Sudbury - is part of the voluntary group Swan Watch, which feeds and protects the birds of the Sudbury Meadows.
He said he saw two dogs harass and chase a swan near the Mill Hotel on Monday, January 14, prompting him to call on dog owners to keep their pets on a lead.
Two swans have been killed by dogs in the beauty spot over the last three years but Mr Spicer claims attacks there are still a weekly occurrence.
He claims that seven swans had to be put down last year following dog attacks.
A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary said: “Officers are aware of reports of dogs worrying wildlife in the vicinity of Sudbury Common Land and have spoken to the local ranger to discuss the way forward.
“Ideally dogs should be kept on a lead and legal owners have a duty to keep their dogs under control in a public place.”
Mr Spicer said: “I’m so wild that you would not believe.
“I’m sick of putting swans down after they have been savaged by dogs.
“A couple let their two Spaniels off the lead today and they both immediately went for a swan.
“That same swan that was attacked spent three weeks in the sanctuary because it was attacked before and had its lung punctured.”
Thankfully the swan which was chased escaped but Mr Spicer was not impressed by the actions of the dog owners.
This is not the first time Mr Spicer has voiced his concerns about attacks.
In May 2018, swans with young cygnets were chased into the water near the Mill Hotel.
Two years earlier, in 2016, a dog brutally mauled a swan to death on the Sudbury Meadows, prompting an investigation from Suffolk police.
The law states that it is an offence for an owner to let their dog attack or harass wildlife.
The Sudbury Common Lands Charity also advises owners to keep their pets on a lead when near swans.