Radio Sandwell Miscellanea

Cull the seagulls government urged

2013-08-02 17:28:55

A nationwide cull is needed to take on seagulls who have been attacking humans, the government has been told.

Ministers have been urged to act via an online petition that claims people are sick of the noise, attacks and destruction emanating from birds .

The demand for a gull cull on the government's official e-petition website comes after a Labour MP publicly raised his concerns about the menace posed by the birds.

John Woodcock, who represents Barrow and Furness in Cumbria, told MSN UK News that urban gulls had become a huge problem in his constituency and across the country.

"Last week, we had a pensioner who was hospitalised by a gull," said Mr Woodcock.

He added that birds nesting in inappropriate roof locations were dive-bombing schoolchildren and that their droppings could be a health risk at a local hospital.

"It has got much worse over the last few years and residents in Barrow and across the country have just had enough of it," said the Labour MP, who has called a gull summit in Barrow for later this month.

"I am not sure that a cull is the answer, but clearly in Barrow and a whole load of coastal areas a lot more needs to be done to protect residents who are just being terrorised by urban gulls who are, particularly at nesting season, incredibly aggressive."

He suggested local authorities should act to ensure the birds could not nest on public buildings, while residents should be as responsible as possible when it came to putting out rubbish - with food waste being attractive pickings for the gulls.

Another option was to rub special oil on gull eggs to stop them hatching to dissuade the birds from nesting at the same location again, said Mr Woodcock.

Nik Shelton, spokesman for the RSPB, said: "It you have a large scale cull, it wouldn't really solve the problem. You would just get more coming in."

He said that a big part of the problem was that the birds' natural marine habitat was being damaged, for example through the depletion of fish stocks, and that food was easily available inland.

Gulls also thought that tall buildings were like cliffs, their natural nesting grounds, said Mr Shelton.

But he also said that organisations could put up netting on buildings out of birding season to stop the gulls nesting while everyone could stop leaving so much food out.


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