Up to 70 protected Herring Gulls have been found dead in a Dorset field.
The cause of the deaths is not known but some possible explanations have included poisoning due to slug pellets, lightning strike or even bird flu, though the birds' bodies were too decomposed to enable tissue sampling.
The dead gulls were discovered last week in a field of oil seed rape.
Suggestion to 'cover up' the news...
By far the most worrying part of this news for me is that on the farming forum where I found the story, there were suggestions to 'cover up' the news before it reached a wider public, "clear the gulls up and ask admin to delete thread..." suggested one poster while another said "you can bet certain parties will be quick to blame farming without a shred of evidence."
Why try to suppress what is clearly a very worrying event? Surely that course of action would only raise suspicions.
Another poster, obviously not a fan of gulls, added "Why report it or some bugger will want to protect the flying sea rats?" Well perhaps I am that 'bugger' and the 'flying sea rats', to which he or she refers, are already legally protected due to their rapidly declining population.
So the news is out and I'm happy to bring it to wider public attention, if only to highlight the fact that some farmers would rather I didn't.
Whatever killed the gulls, it's important to note the somewhat sinister comments of a few of those who would try to keep it a secret. I sincerely hope that the relevant authorities are now looking into the matter. We shall await their findings.
Meanwhile if you hear of similar news that might not normally make it into the public domain, do please let me know.....
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