Sea birds recover at Wildlife Centre

24 April 2013, 06:00

Wildlife charities are stepping up demands for the government to reclassify the oil additive PIB.

Hundreds of sea birds are recovering at the RSPCA animal centre at West Hatch near Taunton, after being washed up on beaches across the South West, covered in a sticky substance.

The oil additive is known as PIB, which burns and matts the birds feathers, leaving them unable to fly or dive for food. Many of the birds that are being washed up have died, but the live ones are left emaciated, cold and hungry.

They've been taken to wildlife centres to be cleaned and fed, until they're ready to be released back into the wild again.

More than a thousand have been found, but many have died- the 230 which survived have been cleaned up at the West Hatch centre.

Peter Venn is the centre manager, and he showed us how the birds are dealt with when they come to the centre click here

It's the second time this year that Guillemots have been washed up on our beaches covered in this sticky oil additive, so now there are calls to get PIB reclassified.

Currently it's legal for ships to clear out their tanks at sea, which dumps this oil additive into our waters, coating the birds who come across it.

An E-petiton has been set up to as the government for tighter restrictions, to stop something like this happening again, as its feared that already, a whole generation of Guillemots has been wiped out.