How to live in harmony with gulls
A CAMPAIGN to encourage people to live in harmony with gulls has been launched by the RSPCA in the southeast following a number of incidents where gulls have been shot with air rifles. So far this year the RSPCA has received 494 calls in the region about gulls and this is set to increase over the summer months. RSPCA South East acting regional superintendent Dermot Murphy said: “Our inspectors have had to put to sleep gulls that have been too badly injured by airguns to save, but some of these birds are not found and will be left maimed and in agony by those people who are shooting at them.” Gulls are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of 1981 - though licences are issued allowing landowners or occupiers to kill certain species for specific purposes. Nests and eggs can be destroyed under licence. But even in these circumstances it is illegal to do anything that will cause suffering to gulls. The RSPCA urges people to dispose of edible litter carefully and put it in gullproof litter bins. Gulls that swoop suddenly on people or pets are usually trying to protect chicks that have got out of the nest. If you see a gull chick leave it alone. Gulls make most noise between May and July when they are breeding. If gulls on your roof disturb you, or you are worried they may block a gas flue, you can prevent them nesting there in the first place. The environmental health department or a pest control company can tell you about the devices available.