'Senseless' shooting of swans condemned.
RISING numbers of swans are being killed or suffering horrific injuries from "senseless shootings" with air guns, the Queen's swan marker has revealed.
David Barber said dozens of the birds had been targeted over the last year - and the number of victims had gone up "considerably."
He was speaking as he prepares to carry out the traditional swan upping ceremony, the annual census of the swan population on the River Thames.
Mr Barber said: "The most disappointing news affecting the Thames's swans is the continuing increase in the number of swans and cygnets being shot with air guns. These senseless shootings cause horrific injuries and often death, with the injured swans and cygnets sometimes taking days or even weeks to die if they are not discovered soon after being shot.
"Air guns are easy to get hold off and swans are easy targets."