Police appeal for information after seagull 'poisoned' in vigilante attack in Dorset

Dorset authorities posted this picture of the bird which which they are concerned could have been poisoned on purpose

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The Independent Online

A seagull has reportedly been deliberately poisoned in a suspected vigilante attack in Dorset.

The incident happened amid a countrywide debate about the birds, which many people believe to be pests.

A Yorkshire terrier from Newquay in Cornwall, named Roo, was pecked to death this week by a gang of seagulls.

Yesterday, the attack prompted Prime Minister David Cameron to call for the nation to engage in a “big conversation” about the presence of birds in the UK.

In the early hours of Friday morning, the Bridport, Beaminster and Lyme Regis Safer Neighbourhood Teams posted on their social media account an image of a poisoned sea gull. They wrote: “One of our resident seagulls near the Dorset Police station (currently looking after its chick) is suffering following a suspected poisoning.

“RSPCA [Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals] despatched and concur who are now looking after it. If you know of anyone engaging in this cruel manner towards protected birds please contact the RSPCA.”

The Safer Neighbourhood Teams reminded locals that under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, seagulls are a protected species.

They have appealed for anyone with any information about the suspected poisoning to come forward.

In light of the terrier’s death in Cornwall, David Cameron told BBC Cornwall yesterday: “I think this is a very difficult subject and I think it is a dangerous one for the Prime Minister to dive in and come up with an instant answer with the issues of the protection of seagulls, whether there is a need for a cull, what should be done about eggs and nests and the rest of it.

“I think a big conversation needs to happen about this and, frankly, I think the people we need to listen to are people who really understand this issue in Cornwall and the potential effect it is having.”

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