Two swans killed in ‘distressing’ dog attacks in Lewes
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East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service (WRAS) is urging members of the public to keep their dogs under control while walking on the Lewes Railways Lands and River Ouse after dealing with the ‘distressing’ incidents.
The latest attack took place on Saturday, January 18, in the fields close to one of the drainage dykes, WRAS said.
A previous incident happened on December 28, opposite the rowing club on the eastern side of the Lewes Railway Lands.
Rescuers from East Sussex WRAS attended on both occasions to find very badly injured swans with severe wounds on their backs and necks which resulted in the bird being put to sleep by vets.
“This has been a distressing incident for our rescuers to deal with as well as for the members of the public who saw and witnessed the event,” said Trevor Weeks.
“It is easy to assume that whilst walking in the countryside you can let your dog run free and there is no risk if you can’t see livestock, but please think about the wildlife which may be out of sight especially along rivers and streams, which could be hidden down embankments or behind reeds.
“If you know your dog has a tendency to chase animals or birds then please keep them under control or if necessary on a lead in vulnerable areas.
“Swans are currently thinking about where to nest and have this year’s young so can be found in unusual locations where you may not normally see them.”
Sussex Police confirmed officers were alerted to both incidents.
A spokesman said: “Police were called to a report of a dog attacking a swan on at Railway Land Nature Reserve, Lewes on December 28. Officers attended.
“Police received separate reports of a dog killing a swan at the same location on January 18.
“The two incidents are not linked.
“Both incidents have been passed to a Wildlife Officer to review.”