The RSPCA is appealing for information after a poor cockerel was dumped with gaffa tape around his head and found inside a bin bag in Worcestershire.

The animal welfare charity was called on Wednesday 31 May after a staff member at the Sainsbury’s, in Alvechurch Highway, Redditch, was alerted to something moving inside a black bin bag at 8.45am that morning. The bag had been dumped by the recycling area in the car park of the supermarket – a local flytipping hotspot.

When they opened the bag they found a cockerel inside whose head and beak had been covered with gaffa tape. They took the tape off the bird’s face and immediately contacted the RSPCA.

RSPCA Inspector, Claire Davey, is now investigating and appealing for information to find out how the cockerel came to be abandoned.

She said: “Not only has this poor cockerel been dumped like rubbish at a recycling area but his face and beak was taped-up which would have been uncomfortable and extremely frightening for him. It seems like he had been left like this overnight and he could have easily suffocated if he hadn’t been found by a kind staff member at the store.

“It is never acceptable to abandon any animal but especially in this cruel and callous way. It’s unclear at this stage whether he is an abandoned pet or if he had been used for cockfighting so we are keen to find out more information.

“Sadly, it isn’t uncommon for cockerels to be abandoned. Sometimes people may have taken on unsexed chicks, which have grown into noisy cockerels who obviously cannot provide eggs, and so they are then abandoned.

“We would always urge anyone who is considering taking on any pet to ensure that they have the time, money and resources to care for that animal for the rest of their lives. We’ve launched a cost of living hub for anyone struggling. Chickens have specific behavioural and environmental requirements and keeping them should not be a decision that is taken lightly.”

The RSPCA is urging anyone with information about this to please contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.

The cockerel was taken to a nearby vets by the caller and given a full check over. The bird was suffering from feather loss, mites and an issue with his sight but is otherwise generally in good health. Inspector Davey collected the cockerel from the vets and he is now in the care of a poultry boarding facility where he will be cared for until he can be rehomed.

The RSPCA is sadly seeing a rise in animals being abandoned by their owners. In May this year alone, we received 1,822 reports to our emergency line about an animal being abandoned. That compares with 1,609 abandonments for the same month last year – marking a rise of 13%.

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