Seabird put down after swallowing hook

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A SEA bird was left in extreme pain and had to be put down after swallowing a home-made baited hook.

A member of the public discovered the distressed gannet on Puldrite Beach in Rendall, Orkney on Tuesday with a nylon line and plastic bottle in its beak. The line was attached to a hook which had been swallowed by the bird.

Unfortunately, an x-ray revealed the hook had moved from the gannet’s digestive tract into the neck tissue and the veterinary advice was that the gannet would not have survived its removal and the bird was put down by a vet.

Scottish SPCA Senior Inspector Mike Lynch said, “This poor bird had been caused a great deal of pain and distress by this baited hook, which was made to cause deliberate harm.

“The plastic bottle floats on the water with a fish on the hook to attract sea life. However, when the bait is swallowed, so is the hook, leaving the string and bottle attached and the animal immobile and unable to eat.

“We know that the hook, line and bottle had been attached to the gannet for some time as the mouth injuries sustained by the nylon line were already healing.

“The bird would have been in a lot of pain, was unable to eat or fly and would eventually have starved to death if it hadn’t been found.

“This type of bait is extremely cruel and indiscriminate and could injure seals and otters as well as birds so we are urging anyone with information to contact us or the police.”

Causing an animal unnecessary suffering is an offence and anyone found guilty of doing so can be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999 or Kirkwall Police on 01856 872 241.

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