Cygnet ring

BEING a resident of Navigation Wharf, Eynesbury, it was with sadness that I saw that one of the family of residing swans, a cygnet, was seen dead on Thursday morning, November 20. I obtained the telephone number of the RSPCA from the local veterinary surg

BEING a resident of Navigation Wharf, Eynesbury, it was with sadness that I saw that one of the family of residing swans, a cygnet, was seen dead on Thursday morning, November 20.

I obtained the telephone number of the RSPCA from the local veterinary surgery, who had little success themselves in trying to get anyone to help with the recovery of the carcass. I then embarked on a morning of fruitless and unhelpful phone calls.

First, I rang the RSPCA, who informed me that, as the cygnet was dead, there was nothing they could do for it and advised me to ring the council.

The council told me that, had the cygnet been run over, they would he happy to retrieve it, but they did not have the equipment to do this in the river. I did comment that I was sure that, if it had been a shopping trolley, that would not be a problem.


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The council passed me on to the Environment Agency who said, as long as it wasn't causing a blockage or a health hazard, it had no responsibility to remove it. , They passed me on to DEFRA as it could be a case of bird flu. The operator there advised me that they would act only if 10 or more birds were affected and passed me on to Anglian Water. The lady operator at Anglian Water was personally concerned but told me they had no jurisdiction over this waterway. She kindly Googled the number for the RSPB.

My sixth 'phone call of the morning at the RSPB was to Matthew. He explained the society's structure, and that they had no officers on the ground to respond to this type of incident, but he was happy to follow up my call to the Environment Agency. This he did, managing to get an incident report - only after telling them about shopping trolleys and fire extinguishers in the brook, so many thanks to the RSPB.

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What a sad reflection on these agencies when a concerned member of the public can receive little or no help from anybody with what was a sad and distressing situation, especially as these creatures are supposed to be protected.

GRAHAM ALDRIDGE

Navigation Wharf

Eynesbury

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