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Council urges public not to feed seagulls (13/06/11)
The Highland Council is reminding members of the public not to feed seagulls as it re-launches its campaign to raise awareness of the problem of seagulls nesting in Highland urban areas.
A guidance leaflet on seagull control is available on the Highland Council website at: www.highland.gov.uk/seagullcontrol and from Council Service Points, Libraries and Transport Environmental and Community Services offices.
While the Council has no statutory duty to take action against gulls, it recognises the misery that gulls cause members of the public throughout the nesting season. In particular, the Council is seeking the cooperation of the public in eradicating the food sources which attract gulls by discouraging people from feeding gulls at home and in parks and other open spaces. Businesses are asked to ensure that litter and other food waste is properly stored in closed bins.
Councillor John Laing, Chairman of The Highland Council’s TEC Services Committee, said: “There is no easy answer to dealing with the gull problem; however the situation could be made a whole lot better by taking up some of the suggested measures contained in the leaflet and by eliminating food sources for gulls.
“Gulls are very opportunistic scavengers and will take advantage of any food scraps that we humans leave lying around from take-aways or overflowing bins. What is worse is the deliberate feeding of gulls by people throwing food to them in the street or feeding them in their gardens. I would like to thank the many people who already act responsibly but now encourage others to follow by not feeding gulls.”
The guidance leaflet provides information and advice on gulls and the law; problems caused by gulls; the controlling of gulls; deterrent measures; and education about gulls. The leaflet also explains that only licensed contractors with specialist skill and experience are legally allowed to kill certain species of gulls and what homeowners and businesses can do to prevent gulls nesting on their properties. Examples are given of the different types of deterrent measures that can be taken to try to prevent gulls from nesting.
The campaign to raise awareness of the problem of seagulls nesting in urban areas in the Highlands was first introduced in the Highlands in May 2010 by The Highland Council.