Fury after dead seagull found hanging

STAFF at a food store in Beccles were left appalled after a dead seagull was found hanging by its neck outside the shop.

The bird was discovered hanging by a piece of string wrapped around its neck on a patch of rough ground nearby Rainbow Foodstores on Gosford Road.

Teresa Knights was in the area at the time the bird was discovered and said: “Whoever was responsible for hanging a dead seagull by its neck obviously has no respect for the environment or themselves.

“Although certain types of people regard some birds and animals as vermin, everything has a right to life. I personally was appalled at this revolting spectacle and would be horrified for small children to witness this brutality.

“I was bought up on the land and quite vividly remember crows and rats strung from posts – it has haunted me ever since. Learn to live with nature.”

Staff from the store managed to cut the bird down.

Anglia Co-operative chief executive John Chillcott said: “We certainly would not condone actions of this sort – in fact, we would condemn any inhumane persecution of the gulls.

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“Last year the site was cleared using humane measures and everything was tidied up.

“We have ongoing, humane control measures in place. We use a helium-filled ‘balloon’ that mimics the flight of birds of prey and keeps the gulls at bay. It is generally recognised as the most humane method of control.

“We continually monitor the site and the balloon.”

A colony of gulls settled on the former Fibrenyle factory site after the building was demolished and have made their home on top of the mound of gravel and sand that replaced it.

Although they have been a source of severe irritation for residents who say they create mess and noise, they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and must be left alone unless they are damaging public health or air safety, causing damage to agriculture or harming other wild birds.

That means the only way to get rid of the flock is to scare them away.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) communications officer for eastern England, Erica Howe, added: “It is an offence kill or injure a seagull. What makes it worse is that our gull species are in a lot of trouble at the moment and are declining rapidly.

“It is sad and sickens me someone would do something like this.

“If you come across an incident like this you should report it to your local police station or the RSPB or RSPCA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), who might be able to help.”

• Contact Suffolk Constabulary on the non-emergency number on 01473 613500 or in an emergency dial 999.

• For more information on the RSPB visit www.rspb.org.uk