04:00PM, Friday 31 August 2018
A concerned shopper has hit out at B&Q after spotting dead and decaying birds trapped in overhead netting.
Maralin Cottenham, a design technician at Windsor College, says she first noticed dead birds above the outdoor plant section at the shop in the Bath Road retail park in May.
She said: “I happened to look up and above my head were two dead birds that had been trapped in the overhead netting.
“Other customers started to notice and expressed their disgust. I mentioned this to the cashier who said they would pass this information on, but nothing happened.”
The mother-of-two from Burnham says she returned to the store on Wednesday, July 11, to find the same bird hanging from the netting.
She went in to speak to the manager, who told her the netting was there to stop the birds flying around the store and that it could not be
removed without permission from head office.
She then wrote to Veronique Laury, the chief executive officer of Kingfisher, the retail group which owns B&Q, who passed a message to B&Q site manager Graham Miller, who said the netting was to stop people stealing items and throwing them over the wall.
Mrs Cottenham said that, after visiting the store, Mr Miller sent her an email saying the netting would not be removed. On Saturday, August 18, Mrs Cottenham’s husband returned to the shop and took a photograph of two dead birds in the netting, one of which was a pigeon from May whose body was decaying.
“You can see the deterioration of it. These things get full of maggots, people are shopping underneath the netting and these maggots can fall onto people,” said Mrs Cottenham.
She said she is not only concerned about hygiene but the welfare of the birds.
She has contacted the RSPCA and RSPB who told her they were powerless and to contact B&Q.
“Someone needs to be accountable,” Mrs Cottenham added. “I can’t bear to think that we have become a society that has such a careless and blatant disregard for life.”
She has urged other shoppers to contact B&Q and ask for the netting to be taken down if they agree with her.
A B&Q spokesperson said: “The netting above our garden centre is primarily in place to reduce theft, they also prevent pigeons nesting in store.
“On this occasion we believe the bird was already dead before it reached the netting and we engaged pest control to clear it.”
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