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RSPCA issues warning about the hazards to wildlife after netting traps gull

05 Jun 2024 3 minute read
Images: RSPCA

A herring gull rescued after becoming entangled on a building in Cardiff has triggered a renewed warning from the RSPCA about the hazards to wildlife of damaged or badly-fitting bird deterrent netting.

The bird was trapped under netting on a roof of a building on Charles Street in the city centre on Monday (3 June) with the RSPCA contacted for help after someone from another building spotted the gull in distress on the roof.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Shannon Guppy headed to the scene along with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Green Watch in Cardiff Central.

Using their specialist equipment – which included a 13.5metre (44ft) ladder, firefighters Vicky Brailsford and Annie Smart used an Aerial Ladder Platform (as a safe working platform) to cut away the netting.

They then brought the gull down to Shannon who then took the gull to Origin Vets and following treatment was released.

The net did not cause any fractures but there were two small wounds, which the vets said would heal.


Shannon said: “This poor bird was completely entangled in bird deterrent netting and was never going to be able to get free without help.

“The netting had tangled up his legs quite badly and carefully this was removed. He was treated with antibiotics and iodine for a wound on wing.

“He was then given the green light to be released, and was taken back to the original location.”


Shannon said it was lucky that the gull had been spotted and thanked the member of the public who called the fire service and the vets for their assistance; and urged people to understand how they can also help wildlife in their local communities.

She said: “We all want to see wildlife thriving in our communities – but unfortunately we see a lot of birds trapped in or behind netting – and a major cause of this is bird deterrent netting.

“Problems arise when the netting is put up incorrectly or becomes damaged, leaving gaps where birds can enter and become trapped. Quite often it’s fixed in high or hard-to-reach areas – as was the case here – making the rescue of trapped animals even more difficult.

“Birds can suffer a long and painful death from injury or starvation if they’re unable to escape, so we’d reiterate our warning to anyone who uses netting as a deterrent to ensure it’s well maintained.

“We’d also encourage people to look at what steps they can take to deter birds both safely and humanely.

“Unfortunately in this case the building was an old abandoned office so I couldn’t offer any advice to anyone. However the fire crew cut the netting up in an attempt to avoid this happening again in that area.”

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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
19 days ago

It’s not absolutely clear in the article whether or not it is the case but I hope the fire & rescue service removed all the netting from the building to prevent any more birds from getting trapped!

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