Sixteen gulls found dead in Eastbourne resort
Thursday 02 August 2012
Sixteen gulls have been found dead in a seaside resort within the past week, prompting the RSPCA to call for greater tolerance of the birds.
The bodies were found on grass verges and other areas around Seaford, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, following suspected shootings.
Inspectors said gulls are often viewed as pests but it is illegal to harm them as they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
RSPCA inspector Laura Bryant, who is leading an appeal for information about the attacks, said: "For there to be so many deaths in so short a time makes us think these poor gulls may be the victims of deliberate attacks, possibly shot.
"Shooting birds can cause a great deal of pain. Every year there are problems involving people attacking gulls and people need to remember that this is against the law.
"Gulls are as synonymous with the seaside as ice cream, but are all too often seen as a pest by people rather than part of the wildlife around them."
Last year, the RSPCA received 237 cruelty complaints about gulls, including reports of them being shot, having their nests destroyed and people throwing stones at them.
So far this year there have 135 similar complaints. A campaign has been launched by the charity's Mallydams Wood wildlife centre in Hastings to educate people about gulls.
Its manager, Bel Deering, said: "Lots of people, even animal lovers, have surprisingly fierce feelings against the poor old gull.
"They see them as pests and a nuisance rather than just opportunist creatures simply following the food source.
"We have hundreds of gulls in our centre in need of care every year. Sometimes the gulls are injured by natural causes, but others are definitely the victims of purposeful attacks, some of them shockingly savage."
The RSPCA said it believes deterrents and non-lethal methods of control are better at helping reduce problems associated with gulls, such as not feeding them and disposing of rubbish properly.
Leaked climate change report: Scientific body warns of 'devastating rise of 4-5C if we carry on as we are'
Springwatch presenter Chris Packham attacks Malta's bird slaughter which has seen 'at least' 24 protected species killed
The ugliest animals on earth: Blobfish, axolotl and proboscis monkey battle it out to be named least attractive beast
Red squirrels: The creature that everyone knows but is hardly seen
10 best hiking boots
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 The Hobbit: There and Back Again set for possible title change
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Andre Johnson: Wu-Tang Clan-discovered rapper severed his penis and jumped from LA building
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is a company that specializ...
£153.75 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company is an innovative outsourcin...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: This company has been providing on site ...
£150.00 per week: QA Apprenticeships: We've been supplying best of breed peopl...