Poison blamed as seagulls die


Rhian Waller

SICK seagulls found dying on the beach at Rhyl had probably been poisoned.

A post mortem carried out on the dead birds have raised suspicions that they had eaten chips laced with poison.

County council officers were alerted on Saturday when people on West Parade reported a large number of birds convulsing and collapsing on the beach.

Sixteen birds are known to have been poisoned and RSPCA inspector Andrew Broadbent said six had died.

Ian Olson, Denbighshire’s coastal facilities officer, said: “Initially our concerns were for public safety and until we could identify what was causing the problem with the birds, we closed off the beach. However once initial investigations were carried out, it was suspected that the birds had eaten something poisonous.

Mr Broadbent said: “These birds either died or were taken seriously ill within a very short time. It seems that someone deposited contaminated chips on the beach and the impact on the gulls was immediate. We need to hear from anyone who saw the chips being discarded.”

Gina Johnson, manager of the Rhyl RSPCA clinic, condemned the alleged poisoning as “disgusting”.

She said: “At the end of the day, they are living, breathing creatures. They are animals and they can feel. It doesn’t bear thinking about if a kid had picked the chips up. I don’t know what’s the matter with people.”

The police are aware of the situation and anyone with information should call 101.
This is not the first case of animal cruelty toward seagulls in the Rhyl area.

Last year a nesting female was shot through the chest with a crossbow bolt and survived, while in 2008 two men were jailed after filming themselves kicking an injured bird to death.

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