Motorists are deliberately mowing down baby seagulls, an animal charity has warned.

Four seagulls have died and one is fighting for its life after being hit in the past two weeks in East Sussex in such attacks.

The seagulls were struck on roads in Saltdean, Peacehaven, Bexhill, Seaford and Eastbourne, Trevor Weeks, of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue Animal Service (WRAS) said.

He added they had been called to all the incidents and informed the police.

Mr Weeks said he believed the attacks were born out of “people’s hatred for seagulls”.

He branded those “aiming for and not slowing down for fledgling gulls” as “sick”. He also asked people to call 999 if they witnessed such an incident.

Speaking to The Argus yesterday Mr Weeks warned this was just beginning of such attacks as many fledglings have yet to learn to fly this year.

He said: “When birds leave their nests, they cannot fly.

“They are not looking for cars, they are looking at each other, and some drivers are tak- ing advantage of this. I have witnessed this.”

He added: “If someone aims for and hits a gull and injures it, we will go to the police. Please dial 999.”

He said it was difficult to prosecute people under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 2001, but he would always take the matter to the police.

People reacted with outrage to the reports on Facebook. Tammy Smith said: “That’s disgusting.

"You do see people not bother to slow down a lot, and unfortunately the gulls are flying low around built up areas too. So many people dislike them and are taking mat- ters into their own hands.”

Shirlee McCourty said: “If you don’t like gulls then don’t live on or near the coast.” Kirsty Bateman added: “I rescued an injured adult gull that has this happen outside work the other week.

“Thankfully, it was a van so the bird only got tumbled.”