Police probe man spotted ‘walking pet seagull’ on lead as bird ‘sadly put down’

Police have launched an investigation after a man was photographed seemingly taking a seagull for a walk.

An image emerged on social media earlier this week of a man on a zebra crossing on Devonshire Road in Blackpool, dragging a gull along with a dog lead tied around its neck.

It was posted on Twitter by the @liveinblackpool account alongside the caption: “I love Blackpool so much, please never change.

READ MORE: Man spotted walking 'pet seagull' on a leash slammed as ‘sick’ and ‘cruel’

“Where else would you see a man walking his pet seagull on a zebra crossing.”

According to the BBC, the man in his 50s was initially arrested for being drunk and disorderly but was later de-arrested.

Lancashire Police said they were investigating but that no arrests had been made in relation to allegations of animal cruelty.

It is illegal to intentionally injure or kill seagulls under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Captive gulls are also protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006, meaning the owner has to meet their welfare needs and avoid causing unnecessary suffering.

A Lancashire Police spokesperson said: "We were called at about 8pm on April 10 to a report of a man pulling a live seagull along the pavement with a rope around its neck on Bispham Road.

"The bird was taken by a member of the public to a local vet where they decided it sadly had to be put down."

The RSPCA described the incident as "distressing" and "totally inappropriate".

A spokesperson told the Daily Star: "This is a distressing sight and we are very concerned for this gull’s welfare. It is totally inappropriate and unacceptable to treat any wild animal in this way.

"Putting a gull on a leash would be extremely stressful for the bird as it would prevent it from being able to engage in its natural behaviour and could lead to injury or even death."

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