Petition collects in 1,700 signatures to protect King’s Mill swans from being eaten.

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A petition calling for greater protection to King’s Mill Reservoir’s swans has collected in over 1,700 names, after Chad revealed last month how they were being slaughtered eaten by poachers.

Numbers of the protected birds around the waterway have dropped in recent months, and several carcasses butchered to the bone.

Now the on-line petition is calling for CCTV cameras to be placed around the car parking area of King’s Mill Reservoir and the nearby Hermitage local nature reserve.

Pleasley’s David Sommerville, who is an animal rights campaigner and sety up the petition, said: “Such cameras could serve as a deterrent to would-be poachers and would give the police evidence of anyone caught in the act on camera, that would enable them to secure a conviction against the culprits.

“Ideally, we’d like to get some meaningful dialogue going with Ashfield District Council about this particular issue. It’s getting worse, it’s not just here but it’s happening nationally.

“There’s been reports from the River Nene in Peterborough where people are camping out and cooking swans on a barbecue.”

The Chad revealed how several carcasses had been found near to King’s Mill reservoir recently.

Some have claimed they could have been killed by foxes, but local water bailiff, who found one of the swan’s remains said knife marks were visible where the meat had been professionally cut from the bone.

The legs, wings and head had also been removed.

Killing or injuring a swan used to be classed as treason under a law dating back to the 12th Century.

Their meat was once considered a delicacy but swans now have statutory protection under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The petition can be found at www.thepetitionsite.com