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Bodmin swans moved over welfare concerns

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: October 27, 2013

  • HAPPY DAY: RSPCA officials with Jayne Castling, second left, and Gail Glaser, on the right.

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THE RSPCA have rescued a family of swans from Bodmin's Priory Park after concerns about their safety.

The development follows a long campaign by swan charity founder Jayne Castling and Gail Glaser, the Bodmin woman who has been feeding the birds for nine years, to have them relocated elsewhere.

There were fears that the swans – a mating pair and their three-month cygnet – were swimming in polluted water and did not have enough natural vegetation to feed on.

The female swan was also believed to be lame, and there wasn't enough room for the birds to fly out of the pond due to high trees.

The RSPCA consulted Natural England and a wild bird expert from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and it was decided to relocate them.

Adult swans are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and can't be moved, but in this case there was an exemption.

The birds were taken by RSPCA officers on Thursday for assessment and monitoring to see if they were fit enough for relocation. On Monday they were released at a private lake elsewhere in the county.

Mrs Castling, 74, is delighted the swans have been relocated after years of campaigning.

"I can't believe it; it's wonderful," she said. "This is absolutely perfect, after so long we finally have the result we wanted.

"That pond is disgusting but now they've gone to a wonderful lake and a lot of people, not just myself and Gail, are going to be so relieved.

"They had a good look around their new lake and were wondering where they were."

Ms Glaser, 61, is equally delighted after battling for nine years to alert authorities of the birds' plight.

"It's just a total relief," Ms Glaser said.

"It's been a long time coming but the only thing that matters is they have the basics of a decent life.

"It was something that should never have happened in the first place but at last we have the best possible outcome."

Bodmin Town Council deputy chief executive Stephen Facer said the decision was taken in the best interests of the health and wellbeing of the swans.

Mr Facer said: "We are pleased to have assisted with the process to relocate the swans which was based on expert advice and guidance from both the RSPCA and the BTO. While I am sure local residents will miss the swans it is hoped that the public can appreciate that action was taken based on a possible health and long-term prognosis perspective.

"The town council would like to thank RSPCA inspector John Phipps and Roger Swinfen from the BTO for their time and expert knowledge."

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  • bodminboy  |  October 30 2013, 6:24PM

    When the population are 50% toerags,drug dealers,vandals,out of control children,and could not care less dog owners,then you deserve the conditions rag n bones mentions in his comment.To apportion the blame to one particular person is wrong when the town councillors [all elected by the people of the town to control all aspects of the afore mentioned] must ultimately be held responsible.As for the Beacon being notorious as a dogging site,no doubt rags n bones has first hand knowledge of this,I have lived in the town for over 30 years and have never heard this aspect ever mentioned.

  • JeremyBadger  |  October 27 2013, 6:19PM

    Couldn't agree more Rags_n_bones, the Bodmin Council have known about both the Lake and the Beacon for years and done simply NOTHING! An article in the Guardian over a year ago showed a local man was complaining about the smell and state of the lake even then, local vets also recommend that dogs are not exercised on the Beacon as it is rife with canine diseases. Come on Bodmin Councillors buck your ideas up and earn your extortionate allowances and consider making some for the very expensive senior officers redundant as they are a total waste of space, in fact some of you could do the honourable thing and resign as some of you are getting money under false pretences.

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  • rags_n_bones  |  October 27 2013, 11:04AM

    Bodmin Town Council eh... Priory pond has been a cess pitt for years, use as a landfill site by ignorant locals who think it funny to throw in traffic cones and shopping trolleys. The pond need draining and cleaning. Another Bodmin Town Council "JOKE" is Bodmin Beacon's GREEN FLAG AWARD obviously the person who awarded it must have a white stick, as the beacon is covered in rubbish, dog sh!t, drug paraphernalia and condom wrappers as it is a notorious "DOGGING SITE" Open your eye's Stephen Facer your not doing your job properly.

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