DOG owners should be required to keep their dogs on a lead after a swan was attacked and killed near a Worcester estate, says one resident.

John Knowles, of Meadowbank Drive near St John's, Worcester, unofficially volunteers to look after and feed the wildlife on a lake that backs onto his property.

But in the past few years, he claims there have been regular attacks on wildlife, mainly by dogs.

These attacks have come after a sign that stated that all dogs should be kept on a lead was removed due to complaints from residents.

Worcester News: This is the latest if a series of attacks on wildlife by dogs in the areaThis is the latest if a series of attacks on wildlife by dogs in the area (Image: Richard Knowles)

Mr Knowles said: "In the past two to three years there have been at least six, seven or eight swans killed by dogs.

"We put notices up that required dog owners to keep their dogs on a lead, the signs were around the lake but have been off for years because some residents complained about the signs - so they were taken down."

As a result of these signs being removed, Mr Knowles said dogs that run freely near to the lake have been attacking the wildlife.

"On the Sunday just gone (May 5) a bulldog was allowed to attack a swan, which was badly injured," he said.

"The fire brigade was called to save it as we couldn't reach it because it was in the middle of the lake - it took almost an hour to rescue.

"It was a male swan, there are two on the lake. 

"The other is female and has six to seven eggs that it is looking after so it's quite vulnerable.

"The owner was nowhere in sight."

Mr Knowles confirmed the rescue centre had informed him the injured swan had died from its injuries.

In response to this latest attack, Mr Knowles believes the signs that state dogs should remain on a lead should be reinstated.

"There should be official signs that say people walking with dogs it should be mandatory for them to be on a lead.

"I'm very annoyed about it. We should have protection of the wildlife.

Worcester News: The injuries to the swan are visible after it was rescuedThe injuries to the swan are visible after it was rescued (Image: Richard Knowles)

"There are fields behind the lake where owners walk their dogs, they should be more responsible looking after them.

"Their attitude towards it gets on my nerves."

Mr Knowles wants to bring people's attention to the wildlife in the area so that these incidents can be clamped down on.

Robyn Norfolk, the councillor for Dines Green & Grove Farm Ward,  said: "It should go without saying that dog owners should be responsible, especially when it comes to walking their dogs where swans are nesting.

"Swans are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside acts, and dog and land owners have a responsibility to ensure the swans are safe.

"I shall be writing to the owners requesting that they bear in mind their responsibilities under the law."

Trinity Property Group, who managed this area of development, said this was the first incident of it kind it had been made aware of, but stressed it would "be supportive of any local wildlife protection initiatives" and would work with the developer/Freeholder to agree suitable signage for this area to help avoid such incidents occurring again."