Letter: Swans poisoned by lead shot

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The Independent Online
Sir: As a non-angler who takes an active interest in swan conservation, I have to defend D A Beaumont (letter, 28 December). My experience is that anglers fall into two categories: those who belong to affiliated angling clubs, and those who simply fish a stretch of water from time to time.

I am fortunate enough to have built a rapport with anglers of the first category, who use the same lakes and canals as the swans that I look over. There appear to be very few tackling injuries from such waters where a self-imposed tight discipline exists. Tackling injuries tend to happen to birds unfortunate enough to use waters where the less committed anglers lurk.

It is unfair to tar all anglers with the same brush, as does Rosalind Barnes (letter, 2 January). A far greater concern is the continued use of lead in the shot used by wild-fowlers. This is still being put into our waters at an alarming rate, and lead poisoning is claiming more swans than tackle, several years after its use or sale in the form of weights up to 28.35 grammes has been made illegal.