Thursday 22 November 2012 by Waylandsmithy

New EU laws demand ‘changes to Britain’s swans’


Angry Eurosceptics are once again crying a wild ‘foul’, with new rules in Brussels threatening to outlaw the traditional British swan.

Long seen as ‘out of step’ with the more efficient ‘euro duck’, UK swan masters are being urged to homogenise their beasts, or at least wind their necks in.

Ernst Holgar is head of European Avian Harmonisation; a largely faceless technocrat, since a run-in with an angry, non-compliant Swedish kestrel.

“Ve hav strict rules for bouyancy, overall diemenschens unt squawkage”, said Holgar, “Zis flabby, grass-guzzlink swan of yours ist nicht ruthlessly efficient.”

The Queen’s official ‘swan uppers’ have been retrained to comply with the legislation. They were all sacked, and re-employed as swan equalisers.

EU swan reform

Travelling the Thames in his ceremonial hi-viz jacket and hard hat, George Gifford enjoys helping swans become ‘better Europeans’.

“We dye them a mid-grey, in accordance with EC/198/2012”, enthused Gifford. “Then with a bit of red tape, we simply tie their necks off a little shorter.”

Gifford also fits Mute Swans with proximity-activated safety claxons, and sinks any mandarin ducks that might not conform with the latest safety standards or European-wide colour charts.

Holgar conceded that the new regulations could appear pointless to the simple layman, but vowed ‘to keep all our ducks in a row’.

“Vizout ein few simple rules und countless bafflink directives, avian conformity would go all to cock”, he insisted.

“It is mitt zer interests of mein charges ve are doing all this”, he explained. “Such endless micro-meddling ist strictly for zer birds.”

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