Animal rights group attacks gull cull plan

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An animal rights group has hit out at calls to cull Kirkcaldy’s predatory seagulls.

The birds have been blamed for numerous attacks on folk in the town centre.

But a cull isn’t the answer, says Animal Aid.

It has written to Fife Council urging it not to seek licences to start such a process in the Lang Toun, despite a number of councillors publicly saying something has to be done to curb the problem after numerous complaints from locals.

In Kirkcaldy, there have been numerous reports of gulls swooping and stealing food from people, causing some minor injuries in the process.

One woman also suffered a heart attack shortly after being attacked, and needed hospital treatment.

But Animal Aid, one of the UK’s largest animal rights organisations, insists such attacks ‘‘are very rare’’ and only happen when gulls protect their nests and their young.

Tod Bradbury, Animal Aid campaigner, said: “Like all good parents, gulls will do anything to ensure their offspring are safe and protected. As such, during nesting season – which happens to also coincide with many peoples’ summer holidays – gulls will ensure that any perceived threat to their children is seen off.

‘‘To cull animals for protecting their babies is ludicrous.”

Animal Aid has sent councillors copies of its bird advice sheet, which details the range of humane methods available to deter gull attacks, plus a copy of their report on alternatives to culling which, it says, ways local authorities can resolve problems with gulls without resorting to lethal control.

Bradbury added: “We hope Fife Council will adopt some of the measures outlined to them, which are usually cheaper and more effective than lethal measures – therefore making them better for residents, rate-payers, and above all, wildlife.”