Lidl store in Sunderland to review bird deterrent measures as '˜a matter of urgency' after customer's complaint

A Sunderland supermarket is to rethink its bird deterrent measures '˜as a matter of urgency' after one became covered in a substance meant to scare them off.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 05:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 10:04 am
A photo of the pigeon which later had to be put to sleep.

Lidl’s store, in Roker Avenue, Sunderland, put up the substance on girders in the roof of its store late last week.

But the plan backfired when the gel - which is meant to emit an ultra violet light to deter birds from landing - deteriorated and became sticky, according to company bosses.

A photo taken of the gel used in Lidl in Roker Avenue.

A pigeon had managed to get up into the building last week but was later put down by a vet after it was found by a customer with its beak and legs left stuck together and damage caused to its feathers where it tried to peck its way free.

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Lidl say they are now working to remove it and apologised for any distress caused.

Jacqui Smith, 54, from Hendon, was leaving the shop on Thursday evening when she saw a member of staff up a set of ladders push the bird down using a pole.

She said: “The pigeon just dropped in front of me like a brick.

Lidl store, Roker Avenue, Sunderland.

“I put my bags down and said to the shop assistant on the ladders if she had knocked it off where it had been perched and she said yes because people were concerned it had been sat up there for a while.

“I said to her, get a box and I’ll take it to the vets, but I missed it shutting by just minutes.

“I saw how much gunge there was over it and I was shocked.

“I showed it to my neighbour who works with wildlife and we did our best and she did her best to try and clean it.

“It was disgusting.

“It was all in its feathers and beak and it was clearly in shock.

“When I got it to the vets and we left it with them, they had to put it to sleep.”

She says she returned to the store and spoke to a manager.

Jacqui, a customer services advisor, was also invited to get in touch with the firm’s own customer services team.

“When I spoke to them they were really concerned and listened to what I had to say,” she added.

“I had said to them we’re in a city, there are gardens nearby, surely it would seem obvious.

“I was just appalled and the fact is they have got a good reputation, I love shopping there and they have good polices.

“I don’t think this was deliberate but I think they looked at the fact they should have considered wild birds.”

A Lidl spokeswoman said: “Animal welfare is of the utmost importance to us, and we were really sorry to learn of this matter.

“We would like to reassure the community that it was investigated as a priority, with a contractor attending the store on Saturday to assess the exact nature of the situation.

“We do not use any form of glue as a deterrent, and the tabs that we have used are designed to deter birds from landing without acting as a physical barrier or harming the birds, by emitting an ultra violet light.

“It was therefore really important to us, to understand exactly what had happened.

“Following feedback from both the RSPCA and the contractor, it appears that the tabs have reacted to something that has caused them to change consistency.

“We’re therefore removing them as a matter of urgency, and are exploring alternative solutions, to prevent any occurrence like this from happening again.

“We would like to extend our gratitude to our customers for their support, and sincerely apologise for any distress caused.”