As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Cambridge rowing race under fire over plans to kill unhatched swans

Proposals to pour paraffin on the swans' eggs are one option that would allow an annual rowing race to continue

By Agency

6:13PM BST 29 Sep 2015

The famed Cambridge rowing races have caused outrage as plans to kill unhatched swans ahead of the event are under consideration.

The university's famous May Bumps rowing competition often coincides with the hatching of new baby swans on the river and competitors struggle to avoid them.

Proposals to pour paraffin on the swans' eggs are one option that would allow an annual rowing race to continue.

There have been several clashes between rowers and tourists on punts and swans on the River Cam in Cambridge in recent years.

The Cam Conservators, who manage the river, moved swans' nests to other locations this summer, but Natural England (NE) say this has "significant welfare implications".

Now NE has advised 'egg oiling' or 'pricking' to kill off the swan embryos and cut numbers at busy times such as the annual Bumps races on the river.

NE experts say eggs may be coated with liquid paraffin, which is harmless to full-grown swans.

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