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Seagull dies after being attacked by man with walking stick

PUBLISHED: 15:50 19 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:20 20 July 2018

The seagull's wing was hanging off after the attack                       PHOTO: Nick Butcher

The seagull's wing was hanging off after the attack PHOTO: Nick Butcher

©archant2017

The RSPCA are investigating the death of a seagull that was reportedly killed by a man with a walking stick in Great Yarmouth.

The incident reportedly took place in the market place at around 11am on Wednesday after gulls swooped causing a woman to drop her food.

A flock then descended and the man who was accompanying the woman reportedly hit one of the birds with his walking stick.

A witness, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “He gave it one good hard hit and it literally just broke the wing off so it was just hanging on by the skin. As the bird was walking off the wing was rolling around like a wheel.

“People around the town couldn’t believe what they saw.

“There must have been at least 15 people who had a go at this bloke, saying ‘you can’t do that, how would you feel if someone picked up your walking stick and broke your legs?’

“Some kids were crying because they couldn’t believe this bird has been beaten up. It was absolutely horrendous.”

The witness then said he called the RSPCA and took the bird to Haven Veterinary Surgeons where the bird had to be put down.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “It is very concerning to hear this and we are investigating, we would urge anyone with any information or who may have witnessed this incident to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.”

Is it illegal to attack gulls?

All species of gull are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Therefore, it is illegal to intentionally kill or injure any gull or damage an active nest.

The law recognises that in some circumstances control measures may be necessary, however, simple nuisances or minor inconveniences are not legally sanctioned reasons to kill gulls.

Licences can be issued permitting nests to be destroyed and birds to be killed if a non-lethal solution cannot be found to prevent serious damage to agriculture, the spread of disease, to preserve public health and air safety, or to conserve other wild birds.

Actions outside the terms and conditions of a general licence or those which have not been permitted by any other individual licences are criminal offences.

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