The dangers fishing litter present to wildlife has been highlighted after RSPCA Cymru rescued an entangled buzzard in Haverfordwest.
RSPCA officers were alerted after the buzzard was spotted caught in the fishing line, and hanging from a tree upside down over a river on Sunday (25 August). The charity has thanked the “responsible angler” who observed and reported the bird’s plight.
The buzzard was in a field behind the Oak Veterinary Group Limited practice in the Pembrokeshire town. Video footage captures the poor trapped bird was swinging from the tree.
Fortunately, RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben was able to access the bird utilising a reach and rescue pole, and brought the bird to safety for examination.
The buzzard had a fishing lure with a treble hook in the left wing, and following removal some tissue damage was evident, but fortunately there was no break.
Rehabilitation is now ongoing at Gower Bird Hospital, with the buzzard eating well and being closely monitored.
Keith Hogben, RSPCA inspector, said: “It was so shocking to see this poor buzzard hanging upside down from a tree because fishing litter had been carelessly left.
“The bird was caught by fishing line, and once rescued, we had to remove fishing lure from the wing. We’re grateful to the member of the public who spotted the buzzard and contacted us straight away.
“It was a relief to find the injuries weren’t too serious, and we were able to transfer this beautiful buzzard to our friends at Gower Bird Hospital for rehabilitation and further care.”
RSPCA Cymru has long emphasised the role fishing litter – including hooks, weights and line – can play in inflicting injury and sometimes death to thousands of wild animals across England and Wales every year.
Inspector Hogben added: “Calls like this are very frustrating, as the injury and trauma caused to this poor buzzard was totally avoidable.
“Most anglers are very responsible when disposing of their litter, but it only takes one careless person to endanger the life of an animal. We urge all those who enjoy fishing to follow the Angling Trust’s ‘Take 5’ campaign; and utilise recycling schemes to dispose of their waste tackle and line. It’s really straightforward and will save the lives of wildlife in Wales.”
Additional information on the impacts fishing litter has on Wales’ wildlife can be found on the RSPCA website.