Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Gulls under attack

Another P&J report and this time it seems someone in the town is shooting gulls.

'Gulls have died a cruel and lingering death after being shot and wounded in a Highland seaside town.
Now the police and the Scottish SPCA are appealing for information after the spate of airgun attacks left gulls fatally wounded at Nairn.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity has been called out on several occasions in recent weeks after members of the public found seagulls severely injured in a residential area within the town, and not far from a school.' Full article here.

Not the ideal way to deal with the problem really. Perhaps someone has lost the plot waiting for the Scottish Government and the Local Authorities to get their act together and do something about the increasing populations of Gulls in many Scottish towns and cities? There has been a trial in Dumfries, details here.

It could be that there are no simple solutions however. It seems you need a licence to even remove nests and eggs. To quote from a Highland Council document: 'Direct Action, which includes the removal of eggs and nests, may be undertaken by properly trained operators under the conditions of a General Licence.

To further quote from the Committee document from August last year :

'7 Conclusions
7.1 Seagull nuisance affects a large number of towns and cities across Scotland, and there is no simple solution to the problem.
7.2 The Council’s current position is that it provides advice on request to property owners and the general public in relation to the measures available for dealing with seagull nuisance.
7.3 To achieve a reduction in the seagull population in towns and cities, a coordinated approach is required from property owners, in terms of bird proofing buildings, and the public, in terms of removing the food supply.
7.4 The results from the trial currently underway in Dumfries will be made available to local authorities in due course, and they will be assessed to establish the effectiveness of the various measures used.
7.5 In order to provide the public with more information it is proposed that a leaflet is produced which will provide the public and businesses with information on the legal protection for seagulls, the control measures available, discourage the feeding of seagulls, and encourage the public and businesses to ensure that the lids of waste bins are properly closed, to help restrict food supplies for seagulls.
7.6 Discarded food in public places is classed as litter under the Environmental Protection Act, and as such, offenders are liable to a £50 Fixed Penalty Notice.
7.7 The leaflet would also support a media campaign during the breeding season to support the measures to restrict the food supply for seagulls.'

Did that leaflet ever get produced? Anyone ever see one?

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