Police warning after reports people are shooting seagulls along North Wales coastal strip

-Credit: (Image: Ian Cooper/North Wales Live)
-Credit: (Image: Ian Cooper/North Wales Live)

North Wales Police have issued a warning after reports seagulls are being shot along a coastal strip in North Wales. The Rural Crime team say they are currently receiving numerous reports of the illegal shooting of gulls.

These reports are from coastal areas in Denbighshire and Abergele/Pensarn. Nests have also been destroyed when in use.

It is understood air rifles are being used in the incidents.

PC Amy Bennett, from the Rural Crime team, said: “The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 provides legislation that protects all wild birds, including Gulls and their nests, eggs and chicks. It is illegal to deliberately kill, injure or take Gulls except under licence. The use of an air rifle in these circumstances may also constitute a firearms offence."

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Mark Thomas, RSPB Head of Investigations UK: “Like all wild birds in the UK, Gulls and their nests and eggs are fully protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It’s a criminal offence to intentionally kill, take or injure them or destroy their nests and/or eggs and committing these types of offences could result in a significant fine or time in prison. Anyone with information about the illegal shooting or harming of Gulls should contact the police immediately on 101.”

Seagulls like this one pictured in Rhyl have been said to 'create quite a lot of hassle'
Seagull pictured in Rhyl -Credit:Ian Cooper/North Wales Live

RSPCA Scientific and Policy Officer Rebecca Machin said: “We should all want to live in communities where our wildlife is treated with kindness. Herring gulls in particular are a species of conservation concern in the UK and their populations are in decline.

"Sadly, many people have an unfavourable opinion of them and we know they can even be targeted - but these are intelligent animals who form strong social bonds with each other, and deserve to be treated with respect.

“As we mark our 200th birthday this summer we continue to urge everyone to rethink their relationship with all animals as part of our ‘For Every Kind’ campaign.

“For advice on living in harmony with gulls please visit https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwe.../wildlife/birds/gulls.”

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