RSPCA Cymru is appealing for information after a gull was shot dead in Caerphilly.
The animal welfare charity was contacted on Saturday (13 July) after the dead gull crashed into a garden at Bryn Y Fran Avenue, Trethomas, at around 1.30pm.
RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said: “The gull had a serious wound with considerable blood loss to its head and appears to have been shot – maybe off the rooftop – and fell dead in a garden. A loud noise like a car back-firing was heard but the direction of the shot is unknown and no-one was seen with a firearm.
“Sadly this gull which was deliberately attacked was found dead. It is just shocking that someone could harm an animal in this way. Anyone with any information related to this incident is urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
Every year the RSPCA receive calls about gulls which have been persecuted and are the victims of abusive attacks. Many have stones thrown at them and large numbers are the target of people taking pot shots at them with airguns.
Gulls and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure wild birds and action can only be taken against them under licence. Herring gulls in particular are a species of conservation concern in the UK and evidence indicates that overall herring gull populations are actually in decline.
The RSPCA gives the following advice on living in harmony with gulls (https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/livingwith)
Gulls make most noise between May and July when they are breeding. If gulls on your roof disturb you, or you are worried they may block a gas flue, you can prevent them nesting there in the first place. Your local environmental health department or pest control company should be able to tell you about the devices available.
In some seaside towns where people have fed gulls, they have learned to snatch food. Try to keep food to yourself but don’t blame them if they can’t tell the difference between scraps willingly offered and your bag of chips!
Dispose of edible litter carefully – put it in gull-proof litter bins. Plastic bags left in the street are an open invitation for gulls to investigate. Gull-proof bins are easily acquired, are cheap and very effective.
Gulls that swoop suddenly on people or pets are usually trying to protect chicks that have got out of/left the nest. If you see a gull chick leave it alone – its parents can look after it better than you.
Remember, if you see a gull chick – usually mottled brown and grey in colour – leave it alone unless it is obviously sick, injured, in danger, or you know it’s parents are dead. Anyone with concerns for a gull’s welfare should contact the RSPCA Cruelty and Advice Line on 0300 123 4999.
Should you wish to help RSPCA Cymru investigate incidents such as this, you can donate online. The RSPCA is a charity and relies on public donations.