NHS chiefs are urgently investigating following a cull of pigeons at a Southampton hospital which has been described as "horrifying" and "macabre" by animal rights campaigners.

Animal rescuers described scenes at the Royal South Hants Hospital as "the most traumatic scenes they have ever witnessed".

Denise Theophilus from the Foundation of Feathered Friends explained how rescuers from Southampton’s Happy Animals Rescue & Rehab attended a cull of birds at the hospital’s disused rotunda last week.

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Contractors had planned to scare out the birds and block up any holes so they could not re-enter.

Denise told the Daily Echo: “They found indescribable scenes of carnage. Adult birds had their necks wrung and had limbs and wings torn out. Nests were thrown onto the floor.

“Five baby birds, plucked from their nests, had been battered to death with bricks with such great force that their entrails were visible. Blood and organs were smeared on the floor and walls. Eggs had been thrown around onto the walls and into an open bin along with dead bodies of pigeons.

“The two rescuers were allowed to walk into the most traumatic scenes they have ever witnessed. These are kind people who rehab injured and sick birds and animals voluntarily.”

Four squabs, two newly hatched babies and an adult with two eggs were rescued for rehabilitation, although more live birds were shot the following day after re-entering the building.

The Daily Echo has seen footage too graphic for publication.

Trish Stephenson, chief operating officer of NHS Property Services, said: “I am deeply concerned about the information provided.

“I can assure you that we are currently urgently investigating the matter with full co-operation from our contractors and once the investigation has concluded we will provide a full response to the issues raised as soon as possible.”

The incident has been reported to the RSPCA.

Police attended the scene following a report from a member of the public relating to possible wildlife crimes.

An investigation was conducted by CountryWatch officers and it was decided that no criminal offences had been committed. 

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An investigation was conducted by CountryWatch officers and it was decided that no criminal offences had been committed.