Bird deterring netting can pose a serious risk to animals a charity has warned after a trapped seagull was injured while caught up above a South Hams shop.

The gull was entangled in the mesh for more than 24 hours and suffered repeated attacks by other territorial gulls.

The bird suffered facial injuries, RSPCA rescuers discovered after they managed to free the bird from mesh above a Dartmouth store.

Animal rescuer, RSPCA inspector Marije Zwager, used a specialist reach and rescue pole to free the gull before taking it to the RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre for treatment.

She hailed the distressing incident a reminder of the importance of maintaining and monitoring deterrence netting to prevent birds getting trapped.

Marije said: “I hope this is a reminder about how important it is to monitor bird deterrent wire or netting on buildings.

“If netting is not checked and maintained, there is a risk of birds suffering and dying from injury or starvation.

“There are some circumstances where netting can be an effective means of keeping birds off structures, however, it’s vitally important that any netting is properly installed and maintained.

“This gull sadly suffered facial injuries after being attacked by other gulls while trapped but thankfully is getting the care needed at our specialist wildlife centre ready to be returned to the wild.”

The charity’s frontline animal rescuers like Marije have been designated key workers by the Government as they continue to help animals suffering injury, cruelty and neglect during the Coronavirus outbreak.