TWO adult swans have been killed by an alleged hit-and-run driver in Cove, prompting calls for tighter speeding restrictions on the peninsula and greater protection for animals.

The birds were reportedly struck by a vehicle on the B833 road on Tuesday afternoon and no culprit has come forward as of yet.

The male and female swans had become popular visitors along the shore since they joined the community more than five years ago and their tragic deaths have sparked a flood of reactions from residents.

Susie Will told the Advertiser: "They came every year to nest but usually stayed down on the shore.

"This year, probably due to the rough seas and consistently high tides, they were in the village and on the road. People were feeding them, they were beautiful but an accident waiting to happen.

READ MORE: Kitten found hiding in car bonnet at Helensburgh garage - 100 miles from home

"All the locals kept hazard lights on and drove through the village at 5mph; we were making road signs but it was sadly too late.

"This is yet another local eco disaster. Everyone is traumatised by it.

"The swans were huge, healthy and magnificent."

In 2017, Rosneath mum Lisa Fleming died after her car was ploughed into by an uninsured driver who overtook on a blind bend on the B833.

Thomas Canning, from Clynder, was jailed for more than four years following the horrific crash.

Caitlin Logue, who lives in Clydebank but grew up in Kilcreggan and regularly visits her dad in the village, said speeding is a huge problem in the area.

She said: "Sometimes it's not the speed itself, but not adjusting to conditions and not being courteous.

"It's never been this consistently bad. People are saying 'next time it will be a child' but people have already lost their lives.

"I think chicanes would be the best way forward; with cameras people slow down to pass them and bumps are costly and have to be maintained."

READ MORE: Dangerous driver Thomas Canning jailed for killing Lisa Fleming

There have also been calls for more legislation to be introduced to cover the accidental deaths of animals on the road.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officer Elizabeth Bryant said: "We realise how upsetting this is for people in the local area who’ve come to know and love the pair of swans.

"Although the female swan did survive the initial road traffic accident, unfortunately she sustained extensive fractures to her leg and wing. Therefore, on veterinary advice, the difficult decision was made that the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep.

"We are saddened by this incident and are disappointed that the person/s who hit the swans didn't stop their vehicle.

"Unfortunately, under current laws, motorists only have to report collisions with livestock or dogs to the police. This is something we’d like to see changed in future.

"If anyone comes across an injured, sick or distressed animal they should call our helpline on 03000 999 999."

Last year, a Bill put forward by Conservative MP Rehman Chishti to require drivers to report accidents resulting in injury or death to a cat to police failed to progress through Parliament.

Caitlin added: "It is something that should be changed but it's unlikely if you look at setbacks in recent animal welfare laws."

Under current UK legislation a driver is only required to stop and report to the police if they hit dogs, horses, cattle, eg cows, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys and mules.


We want to hear from Advertiser readers: should the law be changed to include other animals, such as swans and cats? Take our poll below...