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A mum claims her little girl was attacked by a flock of aggressive seagulls while sat in her garden.
Emily Vincent says her two-year-old daughter Jessie was left with injuries to her face after the seagulls attacked her in 2015.
And to make matters even worse, the mum says a seagull killed her Yorkshire Terrier Roo just days earlier.
The dog sustained a head injury and was left with brain damage after the attack; Emily says the family were traumatised after the beloved pooch died.
She is speaking about the incident for the first time in support for the family of Gizmo, the little chihuahua who is believed to have been carried off by a seagull in Devon last month.
Emily, who lives in St Columb Minor, Cornwall, says days after the dog was attacked her little girl Jessie was sat in the garden enjoying the sunshine when the birds flew over and swarmed her, leaving her with facial injuries.
The mum-of-four thinks the injuries to little Jessie could have been even worse, potentially fatal, had she not been around to chase the seagulls away.
Emily, 40, said: "I was horrified to hear the recent story in the papers about the poor dog that was allegedly taken by a seagull.
"Two weeks after they killed my dog they went for my two-year-old daughter. Thank God I was there and managed to hit it, but it still hit her in the side of her face causing bruising.
"She was just outside enjoying the garden not threatening a nest or it's young that were on our roof.
"Something needs to be done sooner rather than later before something worse happens and one kills somebody.
"It shouldn't have to take that before something is done, but that's what I feel is going to happen.
"I didn't share this story of my daughter as we got hounded after Roo, but wanted to now as I don't want one to hurt a child or adult."
Emily says the family are still reeling from the death of their dog, who she says was rushed to the vet, but was unresponsive to treatment.
She says her three-year-old son Jace saw the birds attack the dog and ran into the house covered in blood, looking like he had left a 'murder scene'.
"My children are still very much affected by the death of Roo and are nervous around any birds," Emily said.
"I believe the protection should be dropped from these creatures. A cull would be pointless long term, but without the protection numbers could be managed responsibly. They are scavengers and make mess and cause harm and stress. They are a menace.
"Yes, we have turned them into scavengers by reckless people littering and feeding them and it has become out of control, but we are not addressing the problem.
"More signs need to be put up about not feeding them and penalties given as people will still do it."
Emily says she contacted her local council about the birds, but was told the gulls were protected.
"I was told I must leave the nest alone," Emily explained. "There should be more done to protect people and their pets. Roo was like another child to me. It has been horrific."
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