Animal lover attacks Sidmouth’s cruelty to seagulls

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 August 2013

Rose Rodell with her dog Berkley at Pennington Point. Rose is concerned for the welfare of gulls during end of the Folk Week firework celebrations. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9034-31-13AW

Rose Rodell with her dog Berkley at Pennington Point. Rose is concerned for the welfare of gulls during end of the Folk Week firework celebrations. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9034-31-13AW

Archant

An animal lover is distraught at the ‘heartbreaking’ way seagulls are treated in Sidmouth – and says the ‘cruelty’ is worse than anywhere else she has been.

Gulls on Sidmouth beach. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9028-31-13AWGulls on Sidmouth beach. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref shs 9028-31-13AW

Rose Rodell said residents of the town are bringing their children up to mistreat the birds, even going as far as ushering them into the road.

She has seen fireworks causing seagulls such panic that they fly into each other, and pleaded for hoteliers to reconsider their regular FolkWeek finale.

“I see people ushering seagulls into traffic – you never see anything like it in other seaside towns,” said Rose, of York Street. “People go out of their way to run over them.

“It’s animal cruelty, and these are protected birds.” she added.

“The council should be taking responsibility.”

The 67-year-old said birds are scared off for more than 24 hours when the fireworks are set off.

“You can keep cats and dogs inside – you can’t lock up wildlife,” added the retired theatrical costume designer.

“Why do we even have to have a fireworks show?”

The animal lover said herring gulls have always been beggars, and it is actually a common misconception that people have encouraged them into towns over recent years.

“They aren’t vicious – people make them vicious,” she added.

Rose is from Surrey, but has lived in the Sid Valley for 20 years, and tries to save as many of the animals as possible.

She said the RSPCA’s sanctuary can only take so many birds, so she offered to keep the seagull she rescued if it was going to be put down. Rose conceded that there are too many seagulls but is opposed to a cull.

● Have you witnessed seagulls being ushered into traffic? Do you think there should be a cull or are you in favour of protecting gulls? Let us know your views by calling 01392 888502.


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