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SSPCA warn of fishing line ‘death trap’

By Alan Beresford

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THE Scottish SPCA is urging fishing enthusiasts not to discard fishing tackle after a seal and duck became entangled causing serious injuries.

In two separate incidents over last weekend, the charity’s animal rescue officers were called out to a juvenile grey seal who had fishing line entangled around her neck that had cut in deep causing bleeding.

Animal rescue officer Lucy Rattray who attended to the seal said: “On Sunday evening I was called to an injured seal in Beach Road, Johnshaven in Montrose.

“The line was firmly stuck around her neck and was bleeding and it took time to help her. It looked like she could have been suffering for at least three weeks with this wound.

“The seal, now named Ariel, was transported to our wildlife centre later that evening for treatment.

“She was given painkillers and the fishing line was detached from her neck. The wound was given a good clean and any dead tissue removed. This will take weeks, if not months, to fully heal.

“Although the vast majority of anglers are very responsible and take care to clear away their equipment after they've used it, there is a minority of people who fish and don't respect the environment and the wildlife that inhabits it.”

This incident was the second of last weekend for the charity.

On the Saturday afternoon, an animal rescue officer was called out to an injured duck on a path at Hillend reservoir in North Lanarkshire.

Animal rescue officer Heather Shaw said: “The female juvenile duck had her leg wrapped up in fishing line which caused her to be unable to walk.

“She was clearly in a lot of pain lying on her belly and the leg looked mangled with the tight wire and was extremely swollen.

“I took her to the vet to be examined and the fishing line had cut down to the bone. Sadly due to her injuries and the pain she was suffering, she was euthanised.

“We’re urging anyone fishing in this area, or anywhere in Scotland, to show some consideration and clear away every last piece of fishing equipment. This really could save an animal’s life.”

If you find an animal in distress, please call the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999

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