A WARNING has been issued urging people against discarding fishing equipment after a cygnet had to be rescued in Larbert.

The Scottish SPCA put out the warning following the death of the young swan on October 8.

The cygnet was freed from the equipment and taken to the Scottish Wildlife Centre in Fischross but could not be saved.

Mairi Wright, SSPCA inspector, said: “We were alerted to the distressed cygnet when a member of the public noticed the bird appeared to be struggling at the side of the loch.

“When we attended, we discovered that the cygnet was tangled in hooks on a fishing line. The hooks had also collected litter, weighing the bird down even more.

“The bird had hooks in his head, cheek and tongue, which would have caused him a great deal of pain and distress.”

“Sadly, he died under anaesthetic after the vet had operated.

“Items thrown into lochs or ponds can cause serious injuries to these large birds. Swans can become tangled in fishing wire or nets that are not discarded properly.

“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.

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

Anyone who sees an animal in distress is urged to call 03000 999 999.