19/01/2020
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Fishing litter claims another victim

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A Common Moorhen found tangled in fishing line near Walsall had to be put to sleep, despite efforts to rescue it.

The bird was found with severe leg injuries at Queslett Nature Reserve, in Pheasey, by park staff who called the RSPCA for help. The animal charity said the incident at the Ashworth Road site highlighted the perils caused when anglers leave litter behind after a visiting lakes and watercourses.


The Common Moorhen was found with fishing litter entangled around its leg (RSPCA).

A clean-up at the site following the incident also found that almost 90 lifebuoys had been dumped in the water. More than half were removed during the operation. Friends of Queslett Nature Reserve secretary Brenda Wilson said: "This is the third recorded incident of wildlife being injured through discarded fishing line here.

"Two years ago, a Canada Goose had its foot severed by fishing line wrapped around its foot and sadly had to be put to sleep. Only last year a cygnet was found with a pike fish hook embedded in its bill but luckily the hook was able to be removed.

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"Queslett Nature Reserve is a beautiful resource and is there for everyone. Most people are very responsible, taking away their litter and treating the facilities with respect. But sadly, a few act thoughtlessly, fishing illegally, leaving their litter behind and throwing lifebuoys around – an ongoing problem for years – all actions which have serious repercussions and endanger life."

RSPCA animal collection officer Vic Hurr and Inspector Boris Lasserre used a rescue boat to retrieve the orange coloured rings which were believed to have been thrown into the lake by irresponsible visitors over a period of several years. Mr Hurr said: "We were contacted by Queslett Nature Reserve to rescue a Common Moorhen which had become entangled in fishing line.

"When we got to the poor bird we could see he had a horrendous injury – the nylon line had completely severed one of his legs and it was agreed that sadly, the kindest option was to put him to sleep. This upsetting outcome highlights just how lethal fishing litter can be when it is not disposed of properly."