Kill the waste, not the birds

(Letter to the Evening Post)


I wonder just how Dennis Watts proposes to “get rid of the flying pests” (Have Your Say, Friday 28th May).

As a number of local authorities have discovered over the years, attempts to control seagulls by culling, poisoning, or in one case contraception (I kid you not) are futile. Any attempt to reduce numbers simply leads to other birds moving into the niche created.

When it comes to seagulls, not even volcanic ash could help to establish a no-fly zone over our towns and cities.

The only way to deal with this problem is to eliminate the “pull factor” the reason why seagulls now congregate in our town centres and around our landfill sites.

Over-fishing of our seas, and destruction of natural habitats has drastically reduced the natural food supply of seagulls. In the face of this the birds have looked for alternative sources of food, as any creature would. And they have found a plentiful supply in the waste and litter that blights our streets.

It is this waste, containing as it does a ready food supply, that has drawn the birds to our towns and cities and away from their former coastal habitat.

Culling the birds will not solve the problem; any more than culling badgers will eradicate Bovine TB in Wales.

If you want to get rid of the seagulls, get rid of the rubbish.


Keith M Ross


2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Antony Thomas on June 6, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Interesting article in today’s Observer, Keith; on precisely this subject, and the points you raise:


  2. It’s the classic treat the symptoms instead of tackle the root cause which successive governments have been doing for years. Excellent article Keith


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