Householders warned after spate of seagull rescues

By Ginny Ware   |   Totnes Reporter   |
Friday 10th June 2022 6:00 am
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Firefighters have issued a warning to householders after being called out to rescue stricken birds tangled in wire and netting twice in four days.

Totnes firefighers were tasked to rescue a distressed seagull trapped in wiring high up on a roof in Ticklemore Street last Thursday.

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And on Sunday, the same crew were called out to free another gull trapped in netting on the roof of a second property in the town.

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A spokesman from the Totnes Fire Station stressed the importance of property ownersto ensure their bird-proof netting is maintained and fit for purpose.

The RSPCA says incorrectly installed or damaged netting can result in birds becoming trapped, causing them to suffer or die from injury or starvation.

The charity says anyone with netting should regularly check it for trapped birds and to ensure it is in good repair.

A spokesman from the town’s firefighting service said: “If these measures were installed and maintained properly, we would have no need to attend incidents like this.”

The town’s firefighters were tasked to rescue a gull trapped on a roof in Ticklemore Street by the RSPCA.

The crew requested use of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service’s aerial ladder platform to reach the bird as their own ladder wasn’t high enough.

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The spokesman said: “We were requested by the RSPCA to rescue a seagull that was trapped in wiring and was very distressed.

“Unfortunately our 135 ladder and a roof ladder was unable to get sufficient access to get to the bird so we requested the aerial ladder platform.

“When it was set up it rescued the seagull which was left in the care of the RSPCA.”

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The spokesman warned against members of the public wading into water or climbing heights to rescue a distressed animal or bird.

He said: “We attend these incidents at the request of the RSPCA to shorten the suffering of these animals which many members of the public find very distressing, and also to prevent anyone else from putting themselves in harms way to attempt a rescue.

“If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA in the first instance.

“If we’re needed to help an animal, the RSPCA or another emergency service will contact us.

“Please never try to enter water or climb heights to rescue an animal yourself.”

All wild birds, including pigeons and gulls, and their nests are protected under the

Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).

To report live birds entangled in or trapped behind netting contact the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty and advice helpline on 0300 1234 999 or the advice helpline on 0300 1234 999

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