A SPATE of dog attacks on swans has prompted new signs in Stratford urging dog owners to be responsible.
Stratford District Council has erected the signs on the recreation ground to remind dog owners to keep their pets under control and keep them from chasing swans.
Environmental spokesperson Phil Rafferty said: “We have received a number of complaints in the past about dogs upsetting the swans especially during nesting season and when the swans are protecting their young.
“We are not asking all dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead but asking people to be responsible.
“Dog owners will know if their dog is likely to chase the swans or not come back when called. It is these owners who we are asking to keep their dogs under close control and preferably on a lead if they can’t guarantee their dog’s behaviour.”
Coun Jenny Fradgley – who along with Mr Rafferty was responsible for the new signs – added: “We have had swans killed by dogs in the past which has been very upsetting for every one including the dog owners.
“Particular danger is when swans are on the grass at some distance from the river.”
Swan rescuer Cyril Bennis was called out recently to help a cygnet whose wing was damaged after a dog got hold of it.
The bird managed to tear itself free and escape into the river – but it died a few days later.
Mr Bennis has long urged residents to keep their dogs on a lead when near wild animals.