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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 November 2006, 16:49 GMT
'No answers' to seagull nuisance
A seagull
Seagulls are said to be terrorising an Ayrshire town
A report examining the problems created by seagulls in towns and cities has been criticised by MSPs.

Nationalist Sandra White and Conservative John Scott said they were disappointed the study did not come up with solutions to deal with the birds.

The expert report said it was difficult to recommend the best way of tackling the issue because of a lack of studies on the methods for dealing with gulls.

The Scottish Executive described the study as significant and invaluable.

Ms White spoke out as MSPs on the Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee considered a petition submitted by John Boyd, from Kilmarnock.

There has been a lot of money spent on that report and people are still going to suffer come nesting season
Sandra White
Scottish National Party MSP

Mr Boyd, from the town's Wellpark Action Group, complained that the area was overrun by the birds during the spring and summer nesting season.

In a statement submitted to MSPs when he lodged the petition in 2003, he said: "The birds are literally terrorising the neighbourhood at that time."

Research was carried out by experts from the British Trust for Ornithology Scotland and the Centre for Conservation Science at the University of Stirling.

It said large colonies of gulls were increasingly being seen as a problem in towns and cities because of droppings, birds removing litter from bins, noise and even birds acting aggressively towards people in the breeding season.

The report stated there was a lack of information on the ecology and make-up of the urban gull population.

Growing problem

In a letter to MSPs on the committee, Rhona Brankin, deputy environment minister, said: "The report provides up-to-date information on the ecology of gulls, the problems they can cause in urban areas and solutions which can help to deal with these problems."

Ms White, SNP MSP for the Glasgow region, said the report had been a long time coming and added: "It doesn't seem to have any answers yet.

"The report's research, I think anyone could have done that.

"I'm quite disappointed with what we've got back."

She added: "I agree with a lot of what the report says, a lot of it is common sense but there has been a lot of money spent on that report and people are still going to suffer come nesting season next year."

John Scott, Conservative MSP for Ayr, said seagulls were a huge, growing problem.

He said: "I'm slightly disappointed the report doesn't make any more fundamental recommendations than it does."

He called for ministers to meet councils to discuss the best way of dealing with the birds.

After discussing the report, MSPs on the committee agreed to write to Mr Boyd to ask for his views on it.




SEE ALSO
Seagull feeders could face fines
03 Jul 06 |  South of Scotland
Police 'arrest' seagull nuisance
28 May 06 |  Mid Wales
City planning to oil seagull eggs
18 May 06 |  North East/N Isles
MSP seeks action on town's gulls
11 May 06 |  South of Scotland
Locals in a flap over gull sounds
22 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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