Anglers’ discarded hooks are putting dogs lives on the line

The bridge at the ford and weir in The Street, Great Wratting, where anglers regularly leave behind rubbish, bait and hooks. Picture: Steve Barton ANL-160919-153312001

The bridge at the ford and weir in The Street, Great Wratting, where anglers regularly leave behind rubbish, bait and hooks. Picture: Steve Barton ANL-160919-153312001

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A dog walker has urged anglers to clear up their mess after a greyhound had to have a fishing hook removed from its gullet.

The woman, who asked not to be named, was walking her friend’s five-year-old greyhound along the footpath by the ford in The Street, Great Wratting, near Haverhill, last Wednesday (14) when it swallowed a hook and line that had been left attached to some bait by the river.

This sign at the ford in The Street, Great Wratting, clearly prohibits the leaving of litter ANL-160919-153602001

This sign at the ford in The Street, Great Wratting, clearly prohibits the leaving of litter ANL-160919-153602001

The dog was taken to her usual vet, but because it needed more specialist treatment was then taken to the Dick White Referrals in Six Mile Bottom near Newmarket where the hook was endoscopically removed.

The woman said the danger to the dog was only immediately evident because she could the fishing line hanging out of its mouth after it ate the bait.

She added: “The dog was in a very poor way. It had gone way down behind her oesophagus so she had to be referred to Dick White’s.

“The outcome could have been horrendous.

“She went straight into theatre and they’ve managed to remove it and hopefully there will be no more complications.

“The implications of this, the trauma it caused and the financial implications are horrendous for the sake of someone that just couldn’t be bothered to take his rubbish with him.”

The woman’s partner went down by the riverside the next day, she added, and filled a bin bag with detritus, including fishing lines, floats, cigarette ends and other general rubbish.

The issue of uncleared rubbish left behind by anglers has been ongoing for some time, she explained, despite the fact a bin is close by, as is a sign prohibiting littering.

“It’s not just dogs it affects, its everyone, and the vet did say this is happening so much.

“I would love to be able to stop them fishing along the stretch of the river because of the damage they do.

“They need to understand they are not just littering the countryside they are endangering animals.”

On previous occasions, the woman added, she has walked by the river and picked up abandoned hooks before they could cause any harm to an animal.

Other wildlife that use that stretch of water include herons, ducks and moor hens.

She added: “Dog owners be aware and fishermen be aware of what you are doing or not doing. I wouldn’t let my dog off a lead down there at the moment. No way.”