Gull rescued from entanglement on Cardiff building, RSPCA renew warnings about badly fitted bird netting

A herring gull who was rescued after becoming entangled on a building in Cardiff has triggered a renewed warning from the RSPCA about the hazards to wildlife of damaged or badly-fitting bird deterrent netting.

The bird was trapped under netting on a roof of a building on Charles Street in the city centre on Monday (3 June) with the RSPCA contacted for help after someone from another building spotted the gull in distress on the roof.

RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Shannon Guppy headed to the scene along with South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Green Watch in Cardiff Central.

Using their specialist equipment – which included a 13.5metre (44ft) ladder, firefighters Vicky Brailsford and Annie Smart used an Aerial Ladder Platform (as a safe working platform) to cut away the netting. They then brought the gull down to the Shannon who then took the gull to Origin Vets and following treatment was released.

The vets involved were Dr Sophie Jenkins and Dr Antigoni Nanushi and the nurse Adina Valentine. The net did not cause any fractures but there were two small wounds, which the vets said would heal. Pain relief was given and antibiotic cream was applied to the bird, who was in good health otherwise.


Shannon said: “This poor bird was completely entangled in bird deterrent netting and was never going to be able to get free without help.

“The netting had tangled up his legs quite badly and carefully this was removed. He was treated with antibiotics and iodine for a wound on wing.


“He was then given the green light to be released, and was taken back to the original location.”


Shannon said it was lucky that the gull had been spotted and thanked the member of the public who called the fire service and the vets for their assistance; and urged people to understand how they can also help wildlife in their local communities.


She said: “We all want to see wildlife thriving in our communities – but unfortunately we see a lot of birds trapped in or behind netting – and a major cause of this is bird deterrent netting.


“Problems arise when the netting is put up incorrectly or becomes damaged, leaving gaps where birds can enter and become trapped. Quite often it’s fixed in high or hard-to-reach areas – as was the case here – making the rescue of trapped animals even more difficult.


“Birds can suffer a long and painful death from injury or starvation if they’re unable to escape, so we’d reiterate our warning to anyone who uses netting as a deterrent to ensure it’s well maintained.


“We’d also encourage people to look at what steps they can take to deter birds both safely and humanely.


“Unfortunately in this case the building was an old abandoned office so I couldn’t offer any advice to anyone. However the fire crew cut the netting up in an attempt to avoid this happening again in that area.”


This year the RSPCA celebrates its 200th birthday. To mark this special anniversary the animal welfare charity wants to inspire one million people to join their movement to improve animals’ lives. To find out how you can join their million-strong movement for animals visit

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