The RSPCA is urging people to dispose of litter properly after two birds died when they got tangled in fishing line at a popular Cheshire angling spot.
A member of the public contacted the animal welfare charity on Boxing Day to report a goose struggling on an island at Shakerley Mere, near Northwich .
When RSPCA animal welfare officer Stephen Wickham arrived the goose had died. He also found that a cormorant water bird, which was also dead, had been caught in the line as well.
The birds had got so tangled up in the fishing line that it had fatally strangled them both.
Mr Wickham said: “With it being the Christmas holidays, more people might find they have the time to go fishing, so it is very important that we get the message out there reminding people to dispose of their fishing litter correctly.
“The cormorant looked like he had been dead for some time and the goose sadly died shortly before I arrived. The line was completely tangled around the bodies of the birds and they would have been struggling for a while.
“It is very frustrating as this could have been so easily avoided if someone had disposed of their fishing line correctly in the first place. Most anglers make the effort to retrieve and take home all their fishing line and tackle but some are not so careful, which result in incidents like this.
“We urge people to think twice and please dispose of them correctly, as hooks and lines can cause horrific injuries to wildlife. With a little more thought and care, an animal’s life could be saved.”
Top tips include:
■ Take unwanted fishing line home and cut it into pieces before putting in the bin
■ Be aware of surrounding trees – discarded line caught in foliage causes problems for wildlife
■ Don’t leave bait unattended – always remove from the hook and put in safe place
■ Use a bait box
■ Dispose of any litter you see, even if it’s not your own
For more information about disposing of fishing litter properly click here .
The RSPCA is a charity that relies on public donations. To assist inspectors in carrying out their work text: HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).