Council offer advice on what can be done about gull menace

Council offer advice on Seagull problems.
Council offer advice on Seagull problems.

CLARIFICATION ON HOW members of the public can deal with issues surrounding seagulls that have colonised urban areas of Moray has been issued by the Council.

Complaints are received each year by Moray Council as they are for all local authorities, mostly relating to nesting gulls that are causing a nuisance through their aggressive behaviour as they protect their young or by stealing food.

In a statement published today, Moray Council are reminding people that they have no statutory duty to take action against gulls – nor can they force property owners or occupiers of buildings to take action (unless there is clear evidence of a statutory nuisance).

The statement adds: “A general licence is available under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to allow authorised persons to take action against two species which have become common urban breeders – the herring gull and the lesser black-backed gull – where these are causing public safety or public health issues or to prevent the spread of disease.

“Methods of control allowed under the general licence including pricking and oiling eggs to prevent them hatching.

“An authorised person can be the owner or occupier of a building or anyone authorised by the owner or occupier.

“Importantly, there is no requirement to apply for a general licence but anyone taking action against gulls must meet all of the criteria, terms and conditions of the licence.

“Where action is taken, the authorised person must submit a report to Scottish Natural Heritage detailing the number of birds, eggs or nests taken or destroyed and the reason why such action was taken and the method used.”

More detail on the general licence can be downloaded from Scottish Natural Heritage here.

SNH are currently consulting on a revised licence for 2017 and the views of the public are being sought.

Over half way there – please keep backing insideMoray’s bid to continue providing its Community News service in 2017 – visit our Crowdfunding Page for details.