Animals

The unbelievable moment a seagull got its beak round a duckling on a riverbed in Lincoln has been captured by a local wildlife photographer.

The picture was taken by Tony Cooper, 66, who is retired from his day job and has spent about 12 years photographing wildlife as a hobby, using a 400mm lens on a full frame camera.

He saw it take place at Hartsholme Park, with the seagull grabbing the duckling by the head and forcing it down its throat. Tony shared the footage on social media, garnering a mixed reaction and prompting a debate.

Some say it is just an act of nature captured on camera, while others have said it is too much and should not have been shared, but Tony argues there’s more to wildlife than the nice shots.

He told The Lincolnite: “From a photographic perspective it makes for a dramatic story and shows people the other side of nature, which is not all about bunnies and butterflies.

“I get out doing wildlife most days and see this side to nature a lot, but don’t always get a shot so it makes a change to be able to put this side over in spite of mixed reactions.

“Wildlife programmes show a lot worse than this so I’m a bit surprised by some of the reactions I get.”

Bags of what appear to be dead fish have been abandoned on a Lincoln roadside.

The shocking discovery was made at the side of Hall Lane, off Risheholme Lane in Lincoln, on Wednesday morning.

One sea creature, which could be a catfish or even a baby shark, was spotted in the grass alongside multiple bags of what is believed to be more dead fish.

The fish was spotted alongside multiple black bin liners, which appeared to also be full of fish. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The RSPCA claims that because this particular incident isn’t deemed ‘suspicious’ it is not in their remit to clear up the animals, and it instead is the job of the relevant local authority.

Some are saying it is a catfish, while others claim it to be a baby shark. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A spokesperson for West Lindsey District Council told The Lincolnite: “The Council would encourage the resident who discovered this to report it to us, so it can be investigated further. The Council will also look at whether we are able to clear the waste alongside this”

How they ended up here is a mystery… | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A vegan food brand has released shocking footage of dead animals, faeces and apparent overcrowding at a chicken farm which the activists claim rears birds for Moy Park, a supplier to KFC.

VFC, a vegan food brand based in the UK, visited a chicken farm which they say is in Lincolnshire, recording footage of the welfare of the birds inside.

The video has been uploaded to VFC’s YouTube channel and currently has more than 28,000 views on the platform, with the living conditions of the farm showcased throughout.

Huge numbers of chickens inside one of the farm’s outbuildings. | Photo: VFC

Dead birds were found littered on the floor, plus two bodies abandoned in a wheelbarrow inside a shed, there appear to be many sick or injured birds, and the ‘dead bins’ outside the unit were so full of animals that limbs were protruding from the top.

Bins outside for chicken carcasses were overflowing with limbs sticking out. | Photo: VFC

Footage appears to show just one small swing for 52,000 birds – which would work out at each bird being given one second of swing use each per lifetime.

The video came in response to a KFC promotional video about the improved welfare and conditions of its birds at farms across the country, as the major fast food chain teamed up with Joe.co.uk and social media influencer Niko Omilana for a Behind the Bucket short documentary at one particular supplier.

The Lincolnite cannot verify if the two videos were taken at the same farm, as claimed by VFC, which says it is somewhere in Lincolnshire.

VFC co-founder Matthew Glover, who visited the farm and conducted the video, said: “This is the most disingenuous marketing campaign we have seen for a long time. This portrayal of chicken farming is utterly misleading and seeks to reassure the public that all is well, when nothing could be further from the truth.

“People have a right to know how filthy and crowded these farms are; how birds suffer and die right there in the sheds; and that the bins overflow with the carcasses of the poor animals who could not survive even a few weeks in such conditions.

“We were not surprised to find that things were this bad because this is the everyday reality of intensive chicken farming. But it leaves us with just one question: did the farm lie to KFC about its welfare standards, or is KFC lying to the rest of us?

Since the response video from VFC has gained attention, Niko has removed the original from his social media channels, but Joe.co.uk has kept it up on Facebook.

Matthew said he is aware KFC may sue him for this video. | Photo: VFC

A spokesperson for poultry producer Moy Park said: “Claims such as these are treated incredibly seriously and we immediately reviewed the footage along with independent audits and veterinary reports.

“This farm is managed to a very high standard and our preliminary findings show that it is meeting those standards. The birds are displaying natural behaviours and the farm adheres to all stocking, enrichment and welfare requirements.

“We aim to give our birds the best possible care and 100% of our broiler farms provide access to enrichment, including natural light and perches and along with independent and industry audits we will continue to carefully monitor our farms.”

A look at the swing used for the birds, just one in the entire premises. | Photo: VFC

A KFC spokesperson said: “We take the welfare of the chickens in our supply chain extremely seriously. It’s something we care deeply about – and we know our guests do too.

“We were the first in our sector to sign the Better Chicken Commitment and we’ve made considerable investments to make our annual Welfare Report an open account of how the chickens we buy are treated.

“We are committed to making progress, as shown by the fact that we were named top of the Pecking Order by World Animal protection in 2021. This was made possible due to our ongoing work with third party experts and NGOs to conduct independent audits, holding our suppliers to the highest standard possible.

“We will continue to work with Moy Park to ensure these standards are being met and we will continue to drive transparency, which is an important part of our welfare work – removing misconceptions and ensuring accountability across the industry. We know it won’t always be easy to hear, but we will continue to talk about it regularly and honestly.”

The Lincolnite has also contacted Joe.co.uk and Niko Omilana for comment.

Below are a series of photographs of the findings of VFC during their trip to the chicken farm. Be advised that these pictures contain scenes some may find distressing:

Dead chickens overflowing from an outdoor bin. | Photo: VFC

Dead birds were seen next to live ones. | Photo: VFC

The living conditions for some chickens were shocking, with this one here face to face with faeces. | Photo: VFC

There were a large number of injured or disabled birds, such as this blinded one. | Photo: VFC

Broken limbs and much more. | Photo: VFC

One of the more shocking finds was two dead birds in a wheelbarrow. | Photo: VFC

Matthew was visibly scarred by what he had seen. | Photo: VFC

| Photo: VFC

| Photo: VFC

| Photo: VFC

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