10 August 2017

Councils may issue fines for feeding seagulls as seaside towns are plagued by angry bird attacks

VISITORS to the seaside are facing fines if they feed the seagulls.

It comes after 36 “gull muggings” — where the birds snatch people’s food — in seaside towns on the east coast of Yorkshire last year.

SWNS:South West News Service

Tourists may face fines if they ignore warnings urging them not to feed seagulls[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

The councils have put up signs around seafronts[/caption]

Scarborough, Filey and Whitby councils are attempting to cut the number of attacks from the swooping birds amidst fears their towns’ reputations may be suffering.

The aggressive behaviour of the gulls has become exacerbated by people actively feeding them and leaving litter and food waste on beaches.

Scarborough Borough Council considered hiring a specialist company which uses Harris Hawks and Falcons as flying police officers to deter the pesky birds.

However, the problem has persisted and signs reading “Never feed the gulls” have now been erected along the seafront in Scarborough and Filey and around the harbour and piers in Whitby.

Councillor William Chatt said: “I hope people take notice [of the signs] because the next thing down the line is to introduce fines.”

The council began a one-year trial disruption and dispersal programme in March which included the removal of herring gull eggs and nests from buildings and the use of birds of prey as deterrents.

Alamy Live News

The councils are worried their towns’ reputations are being affected by the attacks[/caption]

SWNS:South West News Service

The gulls’ aggressive behaviour has been exacerbated by people actively feeding them and leaving litter and food waste on beaches[/caption]

Jonathan Bramley, environment and regulation manager, said: “While controlling egg and nest numbers is one solution, we have to tackle one of the biggest problems, which is our human behaviour and how it is teaching the gulls that taking human food is acceptable.”

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