RSCPA worker cleans a seabird
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Sea birds rescued: Margarine used to clean wax substance

31 January 2013 Last updated at 21:50 GMT

Scientists have been unable to identify the substance coating hundreds of seabirds found washed up on the south coast of England.

Earlier reports suggested the white substance was palm oil, but scientists were unable to confirm this, though they believe it is vegetable-based.

The RSPCA said it had rescued more than 100 birds, which had been taken to the West Hatch Animal Centre in Taunton.

The BBC's Adrian Campbell, who is at the centre, said so far the best thing to remove the sticky substance from the birds is margarine.