Lanarak anglers urged to dispose of line safely

Unfortunately for wildlife in Lanark and elsewhere, fishing line is involved with catching more than fish.

Luckily the swan made a full recovery and was released.
Luckily the swan made a full recovery and was released.

Discarded fishing line has long been a problem for animals and birds that frequent areas where humans like to fish.

Since the start of the year, the Scottish SPCA has been alerted to a high number of animals who have received injuries from discarded fishing tackle.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity recently received a call from a concerned member of the public who had encountered a swan in Lanark with fishing wire hanging from its mouth and lodged down its throat.

Sadly, it has been mainly birds and seals that have become entangled in improperly discarded fishing debris.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Louise Hume said: “I was alerted to the swan on November 25.

“I tried to gently remove the wire but it was catching on its throat. Luckily, the swan was still managing to eat and swim and was otherwise in good bodily condition, so I think the injury was fairly recent.

“When I assessed the fishing line, I found it was pretty far down the swan’s throat so it was taken to our wildlife centre in Fishcross for assessment and treatment. Thankfully the swan made a full recovery and was released back into the wild. However, it’s a sad fact that not all animals are as lucky.

“The vast majority of people who fish are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment but we want to remind anyone fishing not to leave their litter as even something as small as fishing line could be dangerous and potentially lethal to wildlife.”

Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.