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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 August, 2004, 08:29 GMT 09:29 UK
Cull of seagulls 'a last resort'
Seagull (generic)
Seagulls are protecting their young, according to North Tyneside council.
A cull of dive-bombing seagulls is unlikely because the birds are only defending their newly-hatched young, according to Tyneside council.

Residents in Tynemouth have called for something to be done about the seagulls, which they say have become more aggressive in recent weeks.

But Kevin Clayton, the senior environment manager at North Tyneside council, said a cull was not necessary.

"It's perfectly normal behaviour for a seagull," he said.

'Little impact'

Mr Clayton added: "You generally find it's just for a short period of time.

"They are protecting their nests and so become very territorial. They don't mean to attack people, rather they are trying to deter anyone from coming near their young."

However, Mr Clayton claimed a cull would have little impact.

He said: "Evidence suggests that culls are not very successful. There have been a number of them up and down the country and they haven't worked very well.

"You need a special licence from Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and that will only be granted if non-lethal methods have been tried as well.

"People are calling for a cull, but these birds are protected during February and August under the wildlife and countryside act so at this particular time it would be very difficult to obtain a licence anyway."





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