A DOG attack which saw three young swans mauled to death has been described as the worst ever seen in Stratford.
The cygnets were attacked by two dogs, believed to be spaniels, in the recreation ground on the banks of the Avon shortly before 7.30am on Saturday.
Former Stratford mayor Cyril Bennis, who has cared for the town’s population of iconic swans for many years, was left shell-shocked.
“This was the most horrific attack I have seen in all my years caring for the town’s swans. The CCTV footage is horrendous. It is the worst case of animal cruelty the town has ever seen.”
Mr Bennis was not actually there at the time of the attack but was informed by two witnesses, themselves walking their own dogs.
Neither of the dogs responsible for the attack, which lasted for around two minutes, were on leads. Their owner, who has not been identified, reportedly walked off with the dogs, still not on leads, leaving the dead and dying cygnets.
Mr Bennis rushed to the scene where he found one cygnet still alive but its injuries were far too severe to save it.
The attack has been reported to both the police and the RSPCA.
Dog attacks on swans have been a regular occurrence in the town in recent years.
Mr Bennis said: “It doesn’t make a difference how many signs you put up, or whatever else you do, irresponsible dog owners just don’t care. They have to be made an example of.”