At Victoria Lake in Stratford, tourists and locals alike come to see the 21 swans that live there in the warmer months.

But an activist group is upset over the city’s use of the animals as decorations.

The group, called End Zoos In Canada, is against “animal captivity and entertainment slavery,” according to its Facebook page.

To keep the swans in place and to obey Canadian licensing standards, the swans must have one wing clipped. This prevents the spread of non-native species.

City staff says that the birds live long, quality lives.

The average lifespan of an unclipped swan is around 16 years. Some of the city’s resident swans have lived for over three decades.

The birds are brought indoors in the winter instead of migrating, and fed by city staff until the weather is warm enough for them to return to the water.

Then, there is an annual swan parade as the animals travel back to the water.

“Their main instinct is to walk directly to the water,” said Quin Malott, Parks Manager of Stratford. “So they would be walking to the water anyway.”

The activist group says it will continue to protest until the swans are removed.

The city has no plans to give in.