Man seen ‘beating seagull to death’ on Cornwall beach

It is illegal to injure or kill any species of gull under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981

<p>The incident took place on Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives over the weekend</p>

The incident took place on Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives over the weekend

A man was seen beating a seagull to death with a child’s spade in front of numerous families on a beach in Cornwall.

An anonymous witness, who took a photographs of the incident, told CornwallLive that a family group injured the bird by throwing fizzy drink cans at it until one of them got up and “beat it to death with a kids spade”.

The incident took place on Porthgwidden Beach, St Ives over the weekend.

Devon and Cornwall Police were called to the scene, however the group had dispersed by the time they arrived.

The witness told CornwallLive: “We have just witnessed a family throwing Coke cans at a seagull, then as if this wasn’t bad enough, because one was badly injured from the can throwing, one of the men beat it to death with a kids’ spade in front of all of our children and a whole beach full of families.

“We then confronted them to state how disgusted we were with their behaviour, to be verbally abused by them.

“They then left the beach, leaving behind rubbish, towels and sunscreen.

“The police have been called but not much they can do without a name and address.”

The witness is considering sharing the photographs she took of the incident on social media in order to find the man’s identity, which police need to properly investigate the incident, however she is afraid she would received “backlash” from the group involved.

She added: “It was absolutely awful. In my whole life I have never witnessed that kind of violence against an animal.”

All species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and the Wildlife (Northern Ireland) Order 1985.

The website for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds states that this “makes it illegal to intentionally or, in Scotland and Northern Ireland, recklessly injure or kill any gull or damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.”

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