SEAFORD: Wildlife rescuer blasts slaughter of seagulls

A herring gull

A herring gull

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A WILDLIFE rescuer has condemned the shooting and killing of seagulls in Seaford.

Around 40 of the birds have been targeted across Sussex including Saltdean, Brighton and Hove and now Seaford.

In the latest case a dead gull was found by the South Coast Animal Service on Seaford beach on Monday last week.

Alex Szabo from the organisation said that he now knew of four confirmed cases of seagulls being shot in Seaford as well as around 30 in Saltdean and eight in Brighton and Hove.

Mr Szabo said bullet wounds suffered by the birds found on Seaford beach suggested a high-powered air rifle had been used.

Trevor Weeks, of East Sussex Wildlife and Rescue Service said, “I think the shooting and killing of any bird whether it’s a seagull, a bird of prey, a pigeon or whatever - at the end of the day is murder and I think that’s what people need to remember.

“If people have problem with birds visiting their gardens or nesting on their roofs, they need to call a pest control company to put measures in place.

“People might think shooting is the solution but it’s not.”

The spate of killings has led to Roger Musselle from Roger’s Wildlife Rescue planning to release 113 hand-reared chicks at a secret location amid fears they could become targets of violence.

He said, “I’ve stopped releasing them in Saltdean, I’m not going to put them out to be sitting ducks.

“I normally release birds in the Tide Mills area but haven’t done this year.”

Being on the coast Seaford is very popular with seagulls and currently visitors have the chance to see the Kittiwakes in their breeding colony on the seafront cliffs.

The colony, made up of around 800 pairs, has become increasingly significant in recent years as they struggle to breed in strongholds along the coast of northern England, Scotland and Wales.

n In July a 44-year-old Worthing man was arrested on suspicion of illegally shooting birds dead and bailed until October 23.