Swans killed by poachers

Eastmoor Angling ClubStuart Hepptinstall & Ron Halliday with PCSO James Fahey & their signs to warn Eastern Europeans not to poach
Eastmoor Angling ClubStuart Hepptinstall & Ron Halliday with PCSO James Fahey & their signs to warn Eastern Europeans not to poach
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ANGLERS are hoping an international approach will help net poachers who are killing and barbecuing swans, ducks and fish.

Posters written in Polish have been put up by police after years of problems at Eastmoor Angling Club.

Stuart Heptinstall, club chairman, said: “It started off with fish. Then they started catching ducks and swans.

“They kill them and then have big drinking parties where they barbecue and eat them.”

One of the members recently found the remains of seven swans.

Mr Heptinstall said: “It’s deterring the members from going down. Our policy is to catch fish and to release them.

“We put them in a net, weigh them and then release them back into the water. But these people are taking them by the carrier bag full.”

He said the poachers were laying wire traps and lines with bait to catch their prey and returning a few days later to collect their bounty.

They believe the culprits may be Eastern European people who do not understand the rules of the Angling Club.

PCSO Jonathan Fahey, of the Central neighbourhood police team, said: “We fully support the angling club in their efforts to combat illegal poaching and we will be conducting operations in the area.”

The club, which was set up in 2003, has spent a considerable amount of time and energy stocking the water with perch, carp and bream.

Mr Heptinstall said: “One of the reasons we started up was to get young people involved. It’s less than a mile from the city centre and it’s a wonderful place for wildlife.

“Over the years the water is getting cleaner so we’re getting more types of fish and wildlife but all that hard work could be ruined.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101.