Anthony Bowker, 57, has been charged after brutally killing two baby seagulls in a random attack with a spade last year
Bowker beat the small birds to death on the roof of Cleve Court Hotel in Paignton, Devon in May and was court on the hotel's CCTV camera where it's understood they passed the footage on to the RSPCA. A 'spade-like' tool was used as the weapon to kill the pair of herring gulls and the animal charity themselves sought the conviction and brought a prosecution where Bowker admitted killing the two wild birds when he appeared at Plymouth Magistrates’ Court. Bowker, also of Paignton, was fined £506 and ordered to pay a £50 victim surcharge, as well as being ordered to pay £750 to the RSPCA for the cost of bringing the case.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said after the case that Bowker told the court he was unaware that gulls were a protected species. The spokesperson said: "All wild birds are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal – except under licence to take, injure or kill wild birds or interfere with their nest or eggs. ‘The maximum penalty, if found guilty, is six months in prison or a £5,000 fine." A similar case was found in August last year when a New Jersey beachgoer brutally stabbed a seagull with an umbrella in an unprovoked attack. It is a disorderly offense in New Jersey to use a live animal as a target or to abandon a disabled animal to die in a public place.