Protect the swans of the River Cam

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Cambridge University's Swan Abuse Dark Side

Cambridge University's 'May Bumps' high speed rowing competition happens every year coinciding with the hatching of many waterfowl, including swans, moorhen, heron, black cormorants, grebe and ducks, with the result that the young are killed or injured as they are struck by the blades of the rowers as they race backwards on the narrow, winding River Cam 

In 2016 they wanted to kill the cygnets whilst they are still in the egg. Natural England (NE) had advised Jed Ramsey (who opposed this advice publicly, now resigned) of Conservators of the River Cam (the river authority with the final decision on the matter) to use methods known as 'egg oiling' or 'pricking' to kill the swan embryos as they are incubated by the adult swans in the nests, because Cambridge University's May Bumps rowing competition coincides with the hatching of newborn swans on the river and they don't want the cygnets 'getting in the way' of their competition:

Last year only ONE nestful of cygnets hatched because it was hidden from public view, whereas the other 2 nests eggs FAILED TO HATCH FOR THE FIRST YEAR EVER. You can draw your own conclusions. Suffice to say that the River Manager Jed Ramsay's resignation shortly after the decision to tamper with the eggs was challenged, speaks for itself, especially given that 2 nests failed to hatch even one egg.

Further, only ONE cygnet from those hatched survived the rowers blades; Billybob, who was left with a deformity to his bill that doesn't interfere with his feeding. Recently he was hit by a rowers blade again in exactly the same part of his bill which caused his original deformity as a cygnet.


If like me, you feel that this is wrong, please sign and share this petition, calling on the authorities to protect the swans in their natural habitat on the River Cam. As wild animals, protected by HM The Queen, in no way should they be interfered with including relocating or 'corralling' them during the May Bumps.

Relocating is NOT a solution to this problem since the River Cam is the swans HOME TERRITORY. Swans are very territorial and will always try to fly back.

Swans like Mr Asbo who saw his babies killed by the rowers and became very defensive with rowers was captured, had his flight feathers hacked off, leaving him bleeding profusely and was dumped on the Thames where he was killed by the territorial swans there since he could not return to the Cam. The same fate awaited his one surviving cygnet 'Son of Asbo'.

Both The Royal Swan Marker & the RSPB were told of the swan abuse, yet NEITHER took action following their contact with the university rowers/Conservators of the River Cam.

We are Bargee Travellers who have been physically assaulted by the rowers and are being evicted by Labour-led Cambridge City Council because we photograph, film & report the rowers' abuse of the Swans of the River Cam as well BURYING the cygnets they kill and ferrying the injured to the vets or arrange RSPCA pick up & treatment, as well as reporting the HUGE number of UNLICENSED rowing boats on the River Cam;

Petition to Stop the Evictions of Bargee Travellers on the River Cam: ***UPDATE 30-4-18: MOORING LICENSE HANDED OUT TO HEAD OF CAMBOATERS MARK EVANS, BUT NOBODY ELSE***

Video of rowers injuring swans on the River Cam:

Over-capacity of Rowers on the Cam:

See FACEBOOK group CRIER (Cam Rowing Incident and Evidence Reporting) for more photos of Billybob and other injured swans/cygnets:

Swan rescuing local HERO James Deane was assaulted by rowers who dragged him off his boat, then coerced the police into arresting him and was finally found NOT GUILTY of all charges after 16 months of vilification from local rowers (including members of Camboaters) and National Press: ***UPDATE 30-4-18: LOCAL/NATIONAL PRESS REFUSE TO PUBLISH TJDs STORY***

By signing this petition, we ask for the May Bumps to be cancelled and all rowing 'racing' to be relocated elsewhere, away from the River Cam entirely, since it is not fit for the purpose of rowing, such as indoor on rowing machines or in purpose built indoor facilities or on a rowing lake or indeed at the much wider stretch of river at Ely (where the elite teams already 'train' since they themselves have deemed the River Cam unsuitable) to enable the wildlife to live a peaceful existence with no impact on their welfare by rowers.

BillyBob (***now 'disappeared' like Mr Asbo***) & his Parents Bernie & Babs, Malcolm & Mavis, Miss Fussy & Mr Grumpy and the Flock of the River Cam Swans and we, the Bargee Travellers who help them, Thank YOU.