Cruelty to gulls on the rise

THE RSPCA’S Fairlight centre is concerned about a rise in cruelty to seagulls.

The issue was raised when MP Amber Rudd paid a recent visit to the Mallydams Wood Centre.

RSPCA figures show that nationally cases of animal cruelty are on the rise, but there was a fall in convictions for cruelty in East Sussex.

Annual rescue and cruelty figures for 2013, published earlier last week, show the charity investigated 153,770 complaints across England and Wales last year, almost 3,000 more than in 2012.

In East Sussex 16 people were convicted of animal cruelty in 2013, 13 fewer than in 2012.

In one case the RSPCA found the members of a gull rescue group in Hastings had not provided a good standard of care for rescued birds, neglecting 47 gulls and causing them to suffer.

On her visit to mark RSPCA Week, the charity’s annual fundraising and awareness-raising week, the Hastings and Rye MP met staff and volunteers who care for wild animals rescued in East Sussex, some the victims of deliberate cruelty.

Ms Rudd said: “I was a real pleasure to return to Mallydams to see first-hand the important work the RSPCA staff and volunteers do in our community.

“I was particularly interested to hear about the RSPCA’s work showing people how to look after animals and helping to prevent cruelty.

“The centre is also taking steps to deal with particular problems like cruelty towards gulls.”

Dr Bel Deering, RSCPA Mallydams Wildlife Centre manager, said: “The team at Mallydams were delighted to welcome Amber Rudd to the centre during RSPCA Week to show her our work and the impact it has.

“This year is the RSPCA’s 190-year anniversary and so we are asking people to show their support by volunteering and fundraising for us.”