Over one hundred ducks have been brutally “massacred” on an East Yorkshire river, with some left to die among the reeds.
That is the claim of posters that were put up along West Beck near the northern end of the River Hull at Driffield, after a “mass slaughter” carried out “for fun”.
One worried resident is warning walkers who use the route to report any gunfire after the mallard population was decimated by “a group of men”, the poster reads.
According to reports, the innocent ducks were left “injured or dying in the reeds” in a savage series of attacks that could affect their breeding season.
The group “were shooting illegally” according to a notice near the scene. Mallards can be legally shot during open season which runs from September 1 to January 31, “subject to certain legal provisions” the RSPB say.
Wild birds including mallards are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which states that “it is an offence to intentionally kill, injure or take any wild bird, or to take, damage or destroy its nest, eggs or young”.
The ones that weren’t killed or left to die are believed to have fled the area close to Bradshaw’s Mill in the town. Those remaining are “too frightened” to be fed by members of the public.
Sharing the news of the “massacre”, a notice on the river bank reads: “If you’re wondering why there aren’t as many mallard ducks as usual on this part of the canal, it is because they have fled or been shot on the Chalk River, West Beck.
“On three occasions in January, a group of men on the Bradshaw’s Mill side of the river carried out a mass slaughter of over a hundred ducks. They did it for fun because they could. They were shooting illegally on a Sunday afternoon. They left the ducks injured or dying in the reeds.
“Our mallard ducks on here are too frightened to come to be fed now. This massacre means that we now have too many males here and this will cause problems for the females in spring.
“The mallard population in this area will not recover enough for this breeding season to be a success in any way.
“The shooting season for ducks closed on the 31 January, so if you hear shots being fired in this area on Sunday, February 7 or any date after that please contact the police.”
Humberside Police were contacted about the reports.
This article was first published by Hull Live on 5 February 2021. Lead Image: Around 100 ducks are thought to have been ‘massacred’ near Driffield.
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