Young swan ‘practically ripped apart’ by dog in Peterborough

The RSPCA is urging dog owners to keep their pets under control and on leads around wildlife after a juvenile swan was attacked and killed in Peterborough.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 1:01 pm

RSPCA animal collection officer Amy Reiter was called to Thorpe Meadows earlier this month after a cygnet was attacked by a dog being walked off the lead in the area.

Amy said: “Members of the public saw a woman walking her sandy-coloured Staffordshire bull terrier type dog on Saturday morning (16 November) off the lead. The dog chased the young swan, got hold of it and practically ripped it apart in front of other dog walkers, park users and local hotel guests who were eating their breakfast.

“Understandably it was extremely distressing and upsetting for witnesses. They reported that the woman had no control of the dog and could not call it back to her, and simply walked off afterwards leaving the swan.

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The RSPCA are investigating

“Legally dog owners should always have charge and control of their animals in a public place and we are asking dog owners to try to prevent tragedies like this one happening again.

“Sadly this situation happens all too often and we would really urge dog owners to keep a look-out for nearby swans, or any wildlife - they may be nearby but not immediately obvious - when they are out on walks and keep their pets under control, preferably on leads. A bit of extra diligence could save lives.”

When Amy arrived at the scene the cygnet was sadly already dead.

Anyone with any information about the woman seen walking the dog in the area should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

Swans, their nests and their eggs are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.