A FRESH twist to the recent otter controversy can be revealed this week following a Mail reader’s discovery of a dead animal close to his fishery in Somerset.

The 30-cm long dog otter – the victim of a road accident in April 2009 – was found to have been chipped – leading HBS Fishery owner Richard Bult to discover the specimen had been released just a mile away from his property by an RSPCA centre following a period in captivity.

Whilst there is no suggestion of any illegal behaviour, the Environment Agency admit that the RSPCA failed to inform them of the release, as EA Biodiversity Technical Specialist Andy Baines explained to the Mail.

The case highlights a potentially-controversial area in the rules regarding the re-releasing of otters in certain districts with already-high populations, especially in locations close to fish-packed lakes such as HBS Fisheries.

For the full story including quotes from Richard and the EA, grab a copy of this week’s Angler’s Mail magazine dated November 16, 2010.