Birds trapped and and left to die in ‘cruel’ netting at Shoreham railway station

Netting at Shoreham railway station that trapped several birds and left them to die is to be removed.

Gerri Hickman, 42, travels from East Preston to Shoreham railway station every day for work and last Friday was horrified to find a dead dove and several others trapped in the netting.

Shoreham Railway Station. Pic: Google Streetview/Gerri Hickman SUS-190418-153213001

Shoreham Railway Station. Pic: Google Streetview/Gerri Hickman SUS-190418-153213001

The following Monday she returned to find another dove had been killed, which remained hanging in the netting for at least another 48 hours.

She called for the netting, which is designed to stop birds nesting in the roof of the station, to be checked regularly and either improved or removed.

“If an animal is trapped there and starves to death, or dies of dehydration, that is cruel,” she said.

“An animal getting caught underneath is just disgusting in this day and age – there must be a better way of doing it.”

Gerri posted images of the stranded doves on a Facebook community group and she said the response was one of overwhelming disgust and horror.

She also complained twice to the rail company via Twitter, sending pictures of the stricken animals.

Southern Rail has bowed to pressure and said the netting will be removed.

A spokesman said: “The netting was to protect passengers on the platform from the health hazard of birds nesting above their heads.

“The intention was that birds would be deterred, not harmed, and we regret that three were caught in the netting and died.

“We are removing the netting and will ask our pest control contractors for advice on a different type of deterrent.”

A spokesman for the RSPCA confirmed it has been called to the station to free trapped birds.

The charity’s spokesman said it receives around 2,000 reports a year about birds trapped by netting.

Damaged or incorrectly installed netting can leave gaps, said the spokesman, where birds become tangled or trapped and suffer ‘a long and painful death’.

Anybody regular issues of birds being trapped should be reported to wildlife@rspca.org.uk or via the charity’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.

More information can be found at www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/livingwith