HORRIFIED shoppers say they have seen dead pigeons left trapped in netting above a supermarket.

The netting was put up outside the Tesco store in Church Road, Hove, as a way of keeping pigeons out.

But the birds have got inside and been left trapped, either being injured or starving to death.

Customers have reported seeing several carcasses hanging above the store.

Others said that a raven was inside the netting eating the pigeons.

Shopper Vicky Martin from Hove is a regular visitor to the store with her grandmother.

She said: “This is a nasty sight to see whenever I go shopping.

“I first noted the netting was covered in faeces and a guard told me the pigeons were inside being eaten alive by ravens that had taken up residence there.

“We saw it happening as we walked out of the shop, so I reported it to customer services.

“Then a few weeks later I could see four pigeons stuck. it really upsets my nan to see the poor things like that.

“I don’t think shoppers should be seeing it when they are going to get their food.”

Another shopper said: “It’s horrific. I feel very strongly about it, I’m not shopping there any more.

“What does it say about our humanity when something like this can happen?”

The RSPCA said it has been contacted about the store and said officers have visited managers “on several occasions” to “urge the store management to resolve this issue as a priority”.

The charity said: “We understand that the store is now liaising with contractors to deal with this and prevent any future problems in which birds become trapped and are injured or die as a result.

“We are not aware of any live birds currently trapped at this location.

“There are some circumstances where netting can be an effective means of keeping birds off structures, however, it’s vitally important that any netting is properly installed and maintained and it must be monitored.

“If netting is not checked and maintained, there is a risk of birds suffering and dying from injury or starvation.”

The RSPCA responds to 2,000 calls about birds trapped in netting every year.

Tesco said: “The netting is in place as a safety and hygiene measure to prevent pigeons from accessing the roof space and dropping faeces on to the customer area below.

“Unfortunately the netting became damaged which allowed pigeons to access the space.

“We are working to ensure the netting is repaired as quickly as possible.”

Anyone with concerns about trapped birds can call the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999, or visit www.rspca.org.uk.