The fishing community on the Forth and Clyde canal are being urged not to discard tackle after The Scottish SPCA was called out to a swan with a triple fishing hook attaching its beak to its wing.
Although the animal charity rescued the distressed female on Lochmaben near Lockerbie, there are lessons to be learnt across East Dunbartonshire.
Animal Rescue Officer Sheena MacTaggart said: “When I arrived the poor swan was swimming in circles. She was still on the loch so I worked with the kind members of public who alerted us and together we managed to get her onto dry land.
“I took her to the vet where the hooks were removed, only to discover there was also fishing wire down her throat.
“She was then moved to a local wildlife hospital where her face was stitched up and she received lots of TLC. A week later she was released back into the wild.
“We urge the public to be more careful with their fishing hooks and line when disposing of them as we deal with so many incidents which are very similar on a weekly basis. The hooks can get stuck to their limbs, face, mouth and if swallowed, it can cause internal damage. This could so easily be avoided by clearing away all equipment.”
Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.