30 drunken seagulls baffle vets treating them at RSPCA centre

Firefighters were called to one gull behaving erratically on a roof before falling off in Lyme Regis Dorset

Firefighters were called to one gull behaving erratically on a roof before falling off in Lyme Regis Dorset

Drunken gulls "stinking of alcohol" are being rescued by the RSPCA along the south coast of England.

The birds have come in from Dawlish, Exeter and Sidmouth in Devon to Bridport and Lyme Regis in Dorset.

The RSPCA centre at West Hatch near Taunton in Somerset has had to treat almost 30 birds passed out and "reeking of alcohol" in the past fortnight.

Animal rescuers in Britain said they have noted an uptick in calls to rescue "drunk" seagulls that apparently got into brewery waste.

Watch Manager in Charge Virgil Turner said: 'When we arrived he had already fallen off the roof, he was sitting shaking his head and he then tried to fly and he almost hit me in the face.

Experts have warned that they could be drinking leftover alcohol at beaches rendering them too drunk to walk or fly.

It is also thought possible that the gulls have scoffed grain by-products from a brewery in the area.

Veterinary nurse David Couper said the situation was "very unusual".

"We had a couple of isolated cases previous year", he said.

'But it's odd because enquiries revealed these by-products should only have trace amounts of alcohol left after it's extracted.' Other RSPCA officers in the region have collected many birds exhibiting the same symptoms in recent weeks.

"At first the birds look like they have botulism but then, after vomiting, most seem to recover", said Jo Daniel, an RSPCA inspector.

He added: "We took some video of one of the birds who is staggering around and losing his balance just like a person would if they'd had too much to drink".

The charity is urging local alcohol producers, distilleries and breweries to check their waste is secure and that it can not be accessed by wildlife.