Gull menace can be tackled in communities

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Businesses and individuals plagued by the problem of seagulls are being advised that help exists in tackling the birds at local authority level.

A recent meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s infrastructure services committee aimed to stress what measures can in fact be taken - without the gulls being culled.

A range of non-lethal measures are available and the public can contact local businesses for help and advice on the most cost-effective solutions.

These can include roof-mounted spikes or nets to deter landing and nesting.

Committee chair, Cllr Peter Argyle said : “The council does not advocate the killing of gulls and their young, and so we encourage deterrents, preventative measures and nest and egg removal,”

“It really has to be stressed that the council has no responsibility to carry out work at private properties and businesses, but clearly we support community efforts in some of the worst affected areas where we can.

“There can only really be any effect on nuisance gulls where communities recognise a problem and work together on the solution – to have a long term impact there needs to be a consistent approach over time.”

ISC vice-chair, Cllr John Cox, said: “The council carries out a range of work in communities, which is a start, but this alone will not eradicate the issue of nuisance or aggressive gulls in our communities and we need all to contribute to the effort.

“We regularly receive complaints about gulls in our towns and villages, whether that relates to the noise they make, attacks on humans and pets or simply mess from their droppings, but people can start to claim their streets back from the birds.

“At a basic level this can mean being mindful of how litter and food waste is disposed of.

“However other measures, such as preventing chicks from hatching in the first place, are available, depending on the level of the problem.

“ There has to be regional if not national policy to address an ever increasing problem before there is a serious incident.”

Further information on gulls is available at http://bit.ly/GullsGuide.