Dog attack on swan prompts urge for leads

ACTION NEEDED: Roy Spicer from SwanWatch is calling for dog walkers to keep their animals on leads after a swan was attacked.
ACTION NEEDED: Roy Spicer from SwanWatch is calling for dog walkers to keep their animals on leads after a swan was attacked.

An animal lover has called for dogs to be kept on leads when near wildlife after a dog attack in Sudbury left a swan with a gaping hole in its chest.

Roy Spicer, who feeds the 80 swans that live along the River Stour as part of his work with charity Swan Watch, said he was “appalled” after a greyhound attacked the swan on Sudbury’s water meadows near Brundon Lane last Sunday.

“The wound near its neck was as big as my fist,” said Mr Spicer.

“A big thanks goes to the public who helped by calling police and Swan Watch as they undoubtedly saved its life.”

RPSCA officers, vet Carolyn Spitz from Catley Cross Veterinary Surgery in Wickham St Paul and Mr Spicer came to the swan’s aid after the attack which also left it with a damaged wing.

“Something has to be done about this, people should be forced to keep their dogs on leads when they are near wildlife,” said Mr Spicer, who said up to 130 swans can gather near Brundon Lane at feeding time.

“This swan is four feet tall – what if it had been a two-foot tall child? It is lucky there were members of the public to call for help.”

Miss Spitz said the swan underwent emergency treatment before being stitched up the following day and kept at the surgery until Sunday. She said she was hopeful it would make a full recovery at an Essex swan sanctuary and eventually be released into the wild.