ANIMAL rescuers have called for police to take action against seagull killers after four birds were shot in the last week.

Cases were “worse than ever” with one shooting taking place where children play.

Despite the spate of cruelty neither animal charities nor police could recall a recent prosecution.

Roger Muselle of Roger’s Animal Rescue, based in Brighton, said: “One of them had a bullet pulled from its wing. One had to be put down. The bullet went into its chest and was a millimetre from its heart. “I have never heard of a single prosecution. People give the police evidence but they still say they can’t do anything.

“One of the gulls was shot in the car park of the Toby Inn in Cowley Drive. Children play around that area so it could be really dangerous.

“It’s happening in residential areas so people must see what’s going on.

“People always complain about gulls but I don’t understand why people live here if they hate them so much.”

A Saltdean woman who did not wish to be named found another shot seagull in her garden last Sunday.

She said: “It was walking around injured and must have come into the garden like that.

“My cats wanted to go outside but I didn’t want to let them out in case they killed it. It had a very clear bullet wound.”

She reported the case to the RSPCA but the bird had disappeared by the time they were able to attend the following day.

Shooting gulls is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Gulls are a protected species and only limited culling is allowed under strict licences.

Police said there had been no recent prosecutions for shooting gulls.

Chief Inspector Martin Sims said: “We will investigate any report we get about the shooting of gulls and seek to prosecute anyone we find evidence about.

“In many cases that we are contacted about, the birds have not been shot by people using BB guns or air rifles. The people responsible may not only be committing offences by shooting gulls but could endanger the public through the use of the firearms in a public place.”

If you have information call 101, email or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.