Call for clampdown on illegal anglers in Swindon after dog is injured

This Is Wiltshire: Douglas Love’s dog, Bella has had £5000 worth of emergency vet treatment after she swallowed a fishing hook Douglas Love’s dog, Bella has had £5000 worth of emergency vet treatment after she swallowed a fishing hook

PEOPLE have called for more action to be taken against those who fish illegally after a beloved pet dog nearly died from swallowing a fish hook.

It comes following life-threatening injuries were caused to a dog last month when it accidentally swallowed a hook being used by unlicensed fishermen on the Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal.

Bella, a three-year-old chocolate Labrador, was being walked along the path next to the canal, behind Dunsford Close, on August 23.

The pet had to undergo several operations and arrived back home yesterday after being kept at the vets for observation.

Owner Douglas Love, 35, is now facing a bill of £5,000 for the operations and wants action to be taken against the fishermen.

“It’s absolutely brilliant she is back home,” said Douglas, a restaurant manager.

“The vet said there was nothing more that could be done there, so now it’s important to get her back into a routine and back with the people who love her.”

Mr Love said the council, which owns the canal and adjacent tow path, needed to take responsibility for the land and do something about the anglers.

He said: “It’s just not acceptable. The fishermen get aggressive when you approach them and leave a mess all over the path.

“We pay our council tax so something should be done about it. A lot of people in this area have dogs and many have said this is a problem.”

By law, the owner of the land is responsible for taking action against illegal fishing but monitoring the whole length of the canal is resource intensive.

The council claims it is limited in what action it can take and that it works with other bodies to police the canal.

A spokesman said: “We have had signs up on the tow path of the Kingshill section of the canal for a number of years stating that fishing is not permitted, but we do not have the resources to monitor the site all the time.

“The Environment Agency’s Fisheries bailiff does carry out regular patrols and has the power to issue formal warnings to people who are fishing illegally, which can lead to prosecution.

“We are planning to remove some of the fish stock over the coming months, which we hope will curb the amount of illegal fishing taking place on this stretch of water.”

The Wiltshire and Berkshire Canal Trust is responsible for the maintenance and improvement of the canal and over time will take ownership of the whole canal.

Ray Aldridge, the acting chairman, said: “We put up signs along the canal about two or three years ago at the request of the council.

“Illegal fishing is becoming more and more of a problem along the canal. As we take ownership of the canal it will be something we will need to do more research into as we are certainly against it.

“There are stretches along the canal where fishing, with a licence, is permitted and the majority of fishers are extremely responsible.”

Wiltshire Wildlife has supported the stand against illegal fishing.

“The techniques often used can be quite barbaric” said Neil Pullen, reserves manager. “Lines may be left in overnight and the fish caught can be left to a slow and agonising death. Similar to this incident, other animals can get caught on the hooks and suffer horrendous pain.

“As an angler myself I know Swindon has plenty of fully-stocked fishing areas. Anyone who is keen on taking up fishing should get a licence and join one of the town’s clubs.”

Comments (10)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:59am Tue 3 Sep 13

benzss says...

"PEOPLE have called for more action to be taken against those who fish illegally after a beloved pet dog nearly died from swallowing a fish hook."

PEOPLE?

What people?

What a bizarre use of weasel words.
"PEOPLE have called for more action to be taken against those who fish illegally after a beloved pet dog nearly died from swallowing a fish hook." PEOPLE? What people? What a bizarre use of weasel words. benzss
  • Score: 1

11:50am Tue 3 Sep 13

Hearditallbefore says...

If the dog was muzzled this would not of happened.
If the dog was muzzled this would not of happened. Hearditallbefore
  • Score: -3

12:38pm Tue 3 Sep 13

Sashstaff says...

Even muzzled and on lead, a dog could step on it.

A child could pick it up, wild animals or a cat.
It shouldn't be there, angling is barbaric enough but being irresponsible with potentially dangerous equipment is not on, regardless of whether fishing in that location is legal or not.
Even muzzled and on lead, a dog could step on it. A child could pick it up, wild animals or a cat. It shouldn't be there, angling is barbaric enough but being irresponsible with potentially dangerous equipment is not on, regardless of whether fishing in that location is legal or not. Sashstaff
  • Score: -4

12:41pm Tue 3 Sep 13

Hearditallbefore says...

Here we go again.
Here we go again. Hearditallbefore
  • Score: 2

1:36pm Tue 3 Sep 13

Davey Gravey says...

As there are no park rangers anymore this should be a matter for the police. It goes on frequently so it won't take much to catch them. I doubt they have rod licences so throw the book at them.
As there are no park rangers anymore this should be a matter for the police. It goes on frequently so it won't take much to catch them. I doubt they have rod licences so throw the book at them. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 4

5:13pm Tue 3 Sep 13

otolith says...

Ironic, when the anglers on Mouldon Hill are having problems with dog walkers ignoring the rules on letting their dogs in the pond. Perhaps the anglers ignoring the rules on the canal should join Mouldon Hill fishing club and the dog walkers ignoring the rules on the pond should go to the canal!

Talk of set lines left overnight suggests poachers fishing for the pot, though, not normal anglers. In that case, they are breaking the law and Environment Agency bailiffs should be able to apprehend and prosecute.

Wherever someone fishes, leaving hooks and lines or other litter lying about is never acceptable. Probably the best way to stop this is to lease the fishing rights to one of the stricter clubs - plenty of clubs will police the no litter rule very strictly and kick out anyone who breaks it with no prisoners taken.
Ironic, when the anglers on Mouldon Hill are having problems with dog walkers ignoring the rules on letting their dogs in the pond. Perhaps the anglers ignoring the rules on the canal should join Mouldon Hill fishing club and the dog walkers ignoring the rules on the pond should go to the canal! Talk of set lines left overnight suggests poachers fishing for the pot, though, not normal anglers. In that case, they are breaking the law and Environment Agency bailiffs should be able to apprehend and prosecute. Wherever someone fishes, leaving hooks and lines or other litter lying about is never acceptable. Probably the best way to stop this is to lease the fishing rights to one of the stricter clubs - plenty of clubs will police the no litter rule very strictly and kick out anyone who breaks it with no prisoners taken. otolith
  • Score: 8

5:42pm Tue 3 Sep 13

Krazy Kammy says...

I fish myself and would never leave line and hooks behind on the bank as its very irresponsible. It's horrible to hear this dog has had to suffer because of someone's negligence towards the safety of others.

What I will say though is just because one fisherman has been very irresponsible doesn't mean all are so don't go tarring them all with the same brush as there has been incidents where a dog has bitten a member of the public but this doesn't mean all dogs are dangerous and that all dogs should be banned from public places now does it.

People say fishing is barbaric but I feel that way about dog owners as they pretty much play their part in snatching a little puppy from its helpless mother. Just think if someone come and took your baby away ! Wouldn't be nice would it.
I fish myself and would never leave line and hooks behind on the bank as its very irresponsible. It's horrible to hear this dog has had to suffer because of someone's negligence towards the safety of others. What I will say though is just because one fisherman has been very irresponsible doesn't mean all are so don't go tarring them all with the same brush as there has been incidents where a dog has bitten a member of the public but this doesn't mean all dogs are dangerous and that all dogs should be banned from public places now does it. People say fishing is barbaric but I feel that way about dog owners as they pretty much play their part in snatching a little puppy from its helpless mother. Just think if someone come and took your baby away ! Wouldn't be nice would it. Krazy Kammy
  • Score: 7

9:56pm Tue 3 Sep 13

Mushymushy says...

Maybe you should be muzzled and see how you would like it, there are certain laws about muzzling dogs and clearly this dog does not fit into the category of a dog that needs to be muzzled, the complaint is about fishing hooks being left endangering the dog, they are a danger to all wild life and humans so will muzzling the dog stop people fishing in areas that they are not supposed to and leaving hooks on the ground. If anyone thinks that would be the case surely they fit into the idiot category not me.
Maybe you should be muzzled and see how you would like it, there are certain laws about muzzling dogs and clearly this dog does not fit into the category of a dog that needs to be muzzled, the complaint is about fishing hooks being left endangering the dog, they are a danger to all wild life and humans so will muzzling the dog stop people fishing in areas that they are not supposed to and leaving hooks on the ground. If anyone thinks that would be the case surely they fit into the idiot category not me. Mushymushy
  • Score: 0

8:27am Wed 4 Sep 13

Hearditallbefore says...

You have far too much time on your hands mr key b warrior
You have far too much time on your hands mr key b warrior Hearditallbefore
  • Score: 0

10:28am Wed 4 Sep 13

the usually mr tolerant says...

I fish myself. It is disgusting the way some anglers leave tackle strewn across the banks. I always have a spare bag for rubbish which I pick up when fishing from others. This, however, smacks of the eastern Europeans that have come over here and seem to think it is ok to fish illegally and want to take carp home for the pot. As for a barbed hook, well most angling associations banned barbed hooks many many years ago. If the dog owners kept away from the proper angling locations then maybe there would be more tolerance and more agreement from the anglers. As for mess well we all know that every dog owner always cleans up the mess that their animal leaves behind dont the ?
I fish myself. It is disgusting the way some anglers leave tackle strewn across the banks. I always have a spare bag for rubbish which I pick up when fishing from others. This, however, smacks of the eastern Europeans that have come over here and seem to think it is ok to fish illegally and want to take carp home for the pot. As for a barbed hook, well most angling associations banned barbed hooks many many years ago. If the dog owners kept away from the proper angling locations then maybe there would be more tolerance and more agreement from the anglers. As for mess well we all know that every dog owner always cleans up the mess that their animal leaves behind dont the ? the usually mr tolerant
  • Score: 2

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree