Outrage after driver caught running over birds on beach

A MAN filmed a Toyota driving fast and dangerously along Airforce Beach at Evans Head on January 30.

The car drove through a seabird community, leaving injured and dead birds lying on the sand.

Australian Seabird Rescue general manager Kathrina Southwell said one of the crested terns was brought into the rescue centre.

"The bird had to be euthanised by the vet because its wing had been smashed to pieces," Ms Southwell said. "These migratory shore birds arrive from Siberia and Russia and come to Australia to rest and feed. And then they get hit by some idiot driver."

An RSPCA spokesman said the incident was being investigated.

Little terns that were injured are protected but not endangered while the pied oyster catcher "ups the ante" as it is an endangered species, he said.

The penalty for deliberately injuring wildlife was a $5500 fine and six months' jail. Causing death meant the penalties were more severe.

It was a legal requirement when injuring wildlife to assist or to report the incident, but this law does not apply to birds, the spokesman said.

Ms Southwell said she used to be part of a wildlife patrol working with the National Parks and Wildlife Service and police in 2005, patrolling beaches and educating people about the birds and the turtles who nested in the sand.

"I've applied for grants to get the project up and running again," she said.

Woodburn police said they had no record of the incident.



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