Ross calls on Moray Council to do more over Seagull attacks

DOUGLAS ROSS IS CALLING on Moray Council to do more to stop seagulls from terrorising the region after a number of constituents contacted him over the issue.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Elgin BID are considering the use of lasers, amongst several other methods, to discourage the birds.

Confirming that it is an issue on which he has been contacted several times, the Moray MP said: “I wrote recently to the Chief Executive about seagulls and their aggressive behaviour but was told the council is not legally obliged to deal with the problem – nor has the money or staffing to concentrate efforts on implementing deterrents.

“I understand the council does take some steps to prevent seagulls nesting on properties it owns, but something needs to be done with more and more reported cases of aggressive seagull behaviour.”

The Elgin BID action has been welcomed by several councillors who had previously declined to take similar proactive action. Elgin BID – who are currently subsidised by Moray Council by around £55,000 each year – reported to the Council that they were planning several courses of action against Gulls in response to numerous complaints from their members.

The report was particularly welcomed by Moray Council Leader, George Alexander, who said that there were several things that could be done about Seagulls.

Now Mr Ross is asking that more be done by the local authority, saying: “I know that certain times of the year are worse due to the fact that chicks are hatching and adults are protecting their nests and scavenging which brings them into contact with the public, causing noise, mess, distress and in some incidents attacking residents.

“I am regularly contacted by constituents who have been annoyed by seagulls and in some cases have been injured by the birds swooping on them. This year a young mother in Elgin wrote to me after her child was attacked in the street and another lady in Forres was worried about her husband who was knocked to the ground and left bleeding by one of the birds.

“These are just two examples but there are many more. Something has to be done, yet the council seem powerless to act.

“I am aware that one local authority in Scotland caused looked into obtaining a license to cull the birds. This wasn’t a universally popular move but with a growing call for action, we have to look at the increasing number of gull attacks on people and decide what action can be taken.

“This is something that is really causing distress and annoyance to a significant number of people.”