The RSPCA are calling for an investigation after pollution harmed hundreds of seabirds for the second time in two months. More than 170 birds, most of them guillemots, were treated at the charity's West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton after they were washed up covered in a sticky substance.
They were found as far west as Mevagissey and round to Plymouth, Looe and Whitsand Bay. Many more birds were found dead on the beaches. Experts from Plymouth University have confirmed the chemical as polyisobutene (PIB), the same substance affecting birds in February.
It was bad enough seeing so many birds come to us in such a terrible state last time but for it to happen again and so soon is devastating.
It is a huge concern to learn that it is the same substance coating these birds. It makes you wonder whether it could keep on happening unless a serious effort is made to look into where these spills are coming from and how they can be stopped.
A proper investigation is needed to stop this happening again and again, or else our wildlife are likely to go on suffering and dying.
Anyone who finds a bird covered in the chemical should contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and should not try to touch the birds or catch them.
Experts from Plymouth University have confirmed that the pollutant harming hundreds of seabirds off the westcountry coastline is polyisobutene (PIB). It's the same substance that affected large numbers of birds in February.
Nearly 100 seabirds, caught up in the latest pollution incident hitting the South West coastline, have been collected.
The majority are guillemots but there are also a couple of razorbills.
Many have been taken to the RSPCA's West Hatch wildlife centre in Taunton where staff are working flat out.
"It's not just immature birds that have been caught in this sticky, fatty substance.
"We have a mix of white-headed juveniles and black-headed mature birds. They are in a much poorer condition than the ones we treated in the first pollution incident."
Some of the seabirds washed up on the Dorset coast have been released back into the wild today.
They were found covered in an oil-type substance last month and have been looked after at the RSPCA centre in West Hatch in Somerset.
They were released from a clifftop on Portland.
Laura Makin-Isherwood reports:
Scientists believe they've finally identified the mystery substance which was found on hundreds of birds washed up along the South West coast.
Many of them were taken to a rescue centre in Somerset where volunteers have spent almost a week trying to save them.
Tamsin Eames reports:
Experts have identified the chemical which has caused a pollution incident off the South West coast. It's an oil additive, known as polyisobutene. Meanwhile the RSPCA Wildlife Centre in West Hatch is continuing to deal with birds caught up in the spill. Watch Caron Bell's report.