RSPCA officers in Somerset have been responding to a number of calls regarding gulls seemingly suffering from the effects of alcohol.
The animal charity has had more than a dozen calls regarding the birds, and has surmised the birds are probably accessing waste from a local brewery or alcohol producer.
The charity described the effect on the birds as similar to how a human would react to excessive alcohol. They struggle to stand or walk straight and appear disoriented.
“At first, the birds look like they have botulism (an illness caused by bacteria) but then, after vomiting, most seem to recover,” said RSPCA Inspector Jo Daniel, one of the officers responding to the calls.
“The birds absolutely stink of alcohol when we collect them, so now our vans smell like pubs.”
RSPCA vet David Couper has treated a number of the birds as they arrived at the charity’s West Hatch Wildlife Centre in Taunton, Somerset.
“We’ve had birds coming in from across Devon and even a few from Bridport and Lyme Regis, in Dorset.
“Sadly, a few of the birds have died, but most of them have made good recoveries and have been released after a few days in our care.”
The charity is urging local breweries, distilleries and alcohol producers to check that their waste is secure and cannot be accessed by wildlife or birds.