Feb 11 2011 by Patricia Lewis, Dumfries Standard Friday
A SEAGULL cull has been proposed in Dumfries.
Councillor Graham Bell suggested the radical solution to the town’s problem with the aggressive birds.
He said this week: “Shooting the seagulls and having a cull would improve things.”
The North West Dumfries councillor made the proposal at a meeting of the environment service committee.
Mr Bell asked fellow councillors to consider writing to the Scottish Government requesting a licence to cull the birds.
The suggestion came as councillors agreed to spend £40,000 to continue a seagull egg and nest removal scheme running for another year.
Mr Bell told the Standard: “The scheme does work but if you go up a ladder and remove eggs gulls will simply go and lay somewhere else.
“But if you poke holes in eggs, which it is legal to do, the gulls will continue to sit on them for several weeks and not lay more eggs.”
He added: “The method of scaring off the gulls with hawks doesn’t work as it just moves them onto other areas like Georgetown and Heathhall.
“I asked members to write to the Scottish Government asking for a licence for a cull of the birds. This has been taken under advisement.”
Councillors agreed to seek government advice on the options available.
The council holds a general shooting licence but a special licence would need to be issued if a cull was to take place.
Meanwhile, eggs and nests will be removed from buildings in Dumfries and Heathhall over the next few months.
The project was introduced in 2009 following complaints from residents about attacks by aggressive seagulls.
In 2003 the council agreed to a temporary cull of the birds which angered animal rights campaigners.