West Yorkshire Police are appealing for help after two swans were shot dead in Leeds.
The swans, a male and a female, were shot on marshland near Knostrop Sludge Treatment Facility on Pontefract Lane on Monday June 8 between 9pm and 9.30pm.
A man was seen with a rifle in the area around that time and police released security camera images hoping someone might recognise the suspect. He was with another man and a dog.
Swan suspects: the two men spotted on marshland in Leeds
“This is an appallingly cruel and unnecessary act,” said Wildlife Officer Sergeant Dave Lund. “We would like to hear from anyone who recognises the men in the images.”
Caught on camera: one of the men on the marshland
All ‘unmarked’ swans on open water in the UK belong to the crown, though the Queen only exercises her swan ownership rights on one stretch of the Thames. In 1998, the UK government repealed the law making it treasonous to kill an unmarked swan. Marking was carried out be some landowners as a right established under a law of 1482.
Today, swans are protected by the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act. It is illegal to keep or kill them
Police are asking anyone with information to call PC6564 Summerfield on 101 quoting crime reference 13200287971, or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.