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Call to Dog Owners 

Please be cautious during the swan breeding season
 
Whilst swans maybe temperamental creatures at times, we would all agree they are beautiful, regal birds and part of what makes the British countryside what it is. 

Swan and do up close
Protective:
SwindonWeb's Milo gets a warning
from a swan at Stanton Park
In particular during the breeding season, swans tend to be increasingly territorial and if approached when guarding their territory and nest site, they have a tendency to increased aggression.
 
In such circumstances most members of the public will give them a wide berth, as will some dogs, whilst other dogs will on occasions see the situation as one where confrontation is required.
 
Apart from the fact that no one would like to see a swan attacked by a dog, there are legal implications owners should be aware of, for example, the Dangerous Dogs Act (your dog being dangerously out of control in a public place) and Damage to Crown Property (depending on the location of the swan, i.e. on the Thames or tributaries).
 
Swan attacked
 
On 7 April 2011, a resident male swan, nesting with his mate on the River Colne was attacked and severely injured by a local dog. 
 
The swan was rescued by Swan Aid Fairford and transported as an emergency case to Great Western Exotics in Swindon at the Vets Now Referrals Hospital.  The bird had suffered a severe open fracture of the left wing.  Neil Forbes FRCVS, a qualified Specialist in Avian Medicine, operated for two hours to repair the badly broken wing.
 
Neil commenting on the treatment, said “Whilst the wing is repaired, the final prognosis is guarded, as bone healing is compromised where there is concurrent infection, which is sadly inevitable when a fracture has been open with bone ends exposed to the elements.”
 
The swan continued to be cared for in Swindon by Swan Rescue South West. 
 
Sue Hulbert from Swan Rescue commented, “The swan will need to remain in care for at least six weeks, in view of the severity of the fracture, during which time his mate may well desert her nest which is a real tragedy.”
 
All rescuers involved in saving the swan’s life would like to urge dog owners to keep their dogs under proper control near any nesting areas during the breeding season.
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