A pair of wildlife rescuers have been banned from keeping birds for ten years after being found guilty of neglecting as many as 47 seagulls and keeping them in cramped conditions without fresh water.
Tim McKenzie, 55, of Vicarage Road in Hastings, and Jean Tyler, 66 of Pebsham Lane in Bexhill, were key members of National Gull Rescue and Protection, which helped hundreds of birds across East Sussex, including many in Eastbourne.
However, Hastings Magistrates Court heard dozens of birds had to be removed from their care on advice of a vet after the RSPCA was inundated with concerned calls regarding the gulls’ welfare. The birds were removed from a string of back garden aviaries in April last year, with some suffering from bumble foot while others had injuries which had apparently been left untreated, including damaged wings and one with a nasty and infected open wound.
The RSPCA’s Tony Pritchard said, “They believed they were rehabilitating the gulls and they would all have recovered. The vet evidence did not support this and birds were left to suffer by people who were supposed to be helping them.”