Emergency services launched a massive rescue operation – after two crows were spotted trapped on a restaurant roof.
Ten firefighters, two engines, police and RSPCA officers showed up to free the birds that had been caught in anti-seagull netting.
The exercise, in which an aerial ladder was scaled to reach the roof of the KFC outlet in Exmouth, Devon, was criticised as a waste of taxpayers’ money at a time when public services face severe cutbacks.
Of course KFC would never condone the ill treatment of any birds now would it? The same KFC that introduced halal but had to back down because of public disgust.
Firefighters justified the costly operation by saying it was a ‘humanitarian’ mission to spare members of public having to watch the birds suffer.
But witness Barry Drinkall, 40, said: ‘It was totally ridiculous that so many firefighters turned out.
‘They are funded by the taxpayer and, for a relatively small incident, I thought it was excessive the amount of people who turned up.’
He added: ‘I’m not anti-birds and animals, but it is not like a person was hurt.’
Another angry local resident said: ‘Council tax rates for many areas have increased not so long ago.
‘It begs the question why when you see this type of thing happening.
‘An operation like this could have cost thousands and we're paying for every penny.’
A Devon Fire Authority spokesman said: ‘There was concern that the chicks would die painfully in view of members of the public so one fire appliance from Exmouth attended - as opposed to die a painful death in the back of an RSPCA inspectors van out of sight of the public. But wait, there's a publicity opportunity here!!!
‘They determined that the only safe way to reach the birds was to use a hydraulic ladder platform, which was requested to attend from Exeter, and the chicks were retrieved successfully.
‘Both the fire engine and the aerial appliance would have responded immediately to a more serious incident had it occurred while they were dealing with the birds.
‘Part of our role is to offer humanitarian assistance at the request of other agencies’
The 2009 accounts for the RSPCA show that they killed 63,231 animals last year, an increase of over 3000 on 2008. Why would they give a damn about 2 crows?