A vet has accused a county council of "abducting and killing" his patient after a young swan he was treating was put down.
It has emerged that the two-month-old cygnet which Peter Rafter was treating was taken by a council worker to another veterinary practice where it was put down.
Mr Rafter, who has a practise at Bridge House Veterinary Clinic, Coe's Road, Dundalk, Co Louth, has worked with wild birds since 1982.
He has accused the council of "abducting and killing my patient" and says he is "bewildered and frustrated" at the lack of progress on his attempts to find out what happened to the bird, which he had been treating for suspected lead poisoning.
Mr Rafter says the bird was responding to an intensive programme of treatment and was moved to a nearby property on St Alphonsus Road.
He fed the cygnet on his way to work at approximately 8.30am on November 24.
"I checked again at 11m and it was fine in the garden," he said.
"I returned at 1pm and the cygnet was missing."