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'They are so dangerous' - Shops stop selling ring frisbees amid seal injury concerns

PUBLISHED: 10:31 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:31 09 September 2019

Pinkafo was on the verge of death when she was rescued by the Friends of Horsey Seals last year. Picture Contributed by the RSPCA/M Perrin

Pinkafo was on the verge of death when she was rescued by the Friends of Horsey Seals last year. Picture Contributed by the RSPCA/M Perrin

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Two shops have stopped selling frisbee rings over concerns of injuries to seals.

Alan Johnson, owner of the Yacht Shop in Gorleston. Picture: Melanie Ruse.Alan Johnson, owner of the Yacht Shop in Gorleston. Picture: Melanie Ruse.

The Yacht Shop in Gorleston and the Rock Shop in Hemsby will no longer sell the hollow plastic discs, which can become embedded in a seal's neck and cause infection, after discussions with a local environmental group.

Gorleston Beach Clean approached the shops' owners, Jane and Alan Johnson, after seeing pictures of injured seals.

"They are so dangerous to seals and it's shocking to see the damage they do when caught around a seal's neck," Melanie Ruse, spokesperson for the group, said.

The group bought the shops' surplus stock of 255 frisbee rings at a discount price of £100.

Jude Lloyd lying in a X-shape on frisbee rings handed over by the Yacht Shop in Gorleston and the Rock Shop in Hemsby. Picture: Melanie Ruse. Jude Lloyd lying in a X-shape on frisbee rings handed over by the Yacht Shop in Gorleston and the Rock Shop in Hemsby. Picture: Melanie Ruse.

Ms Ruse said: "If we can help small businesses become environmentally friendly with this kind of assistance, it's worthwhile.

"We are now looking at ways to help with the disposal of plastic netting."

Jane Johnson said: "We are pleased to do our bit to help.

"We had decided not to buy any more ring frisbees because of the pictures of the seals in the local press and our conversations with Melanie Ruse and Councillor Barbara Wright.

"When the Gorleston Community Beach Clean offered to buy our surplus stock, we were happy to help.

"This means we can replace the stock with the standard solid frisbees which are not a danger to wildlife in the same way.

"One of other our problems is that everything comes pre-packaged in netting so until the manufacturers do something, it's difficult for us.

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"If we stop buying things like ring frisbees, we hope they will get the message," Ms Johnson said.

The frisbees are being donated to youth groups, schools or organisations on the understanding they are strictly for inland use only.

Councillor Barbara Wright from the Environment Committee and said: "The topic has been raised at committee and we are delighted to hear that independent shops are taking a stand.

"I hope that businesses like these will encourage all the shops to stop selling them.

"We commend any business that takes a look at their stock and sees where changes can be made."

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