The Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is appealing for information after poultry were once again abandoned beside a road in Lewis.
Five cockerels were handed to the SSPCA in Stornoway on Saturday (27 February), after being found and captured by a member of the public on the Pentland Road between Stornoway and Carloway.
Western Isles SSPCA auxiliary inspector Maggie Adkins said: "Once again the Scottish SPCA has been called out to further poultry being dumped on the Pentland Road between Stornoway and Carloway.
“These birds are currently in our care, but previous poultry dumped were found either injured, starving or sadly taken by eagles.
“If anyone has any information on any of these incidents or finds an abandoned animal then they should contact our animal helpline 03000 999 999.”
The incident comes as the SSPCA released information detailing a massive rise in the number of birds arriving in its care. From 1 December 2020 to 31 January 2021, 37 birds were admitted in to Scottish SPCA centres. This is compared to just four for the same period a year ago.
The rise in cases of bird abandonment is thought to be in part due to the current threat of avian flu, which means it is now a legal requirement for all poultry and other captive birds to be housed or otherwise kept separate from wild birds, and for all bird keepers to follow strict biosecurity measures in order to limit the spread of and eradicate the disease.
Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. Anyone found guilty of doing so can expect to be banned from keeping animals for a fixed period or life.
The pictures show the birds found on the Pentland Road on Saturday, now in SSPCA care (SSPCA Western Isles).