Fife council not ruling out cull of area’s gulls
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“Every possibility” is to be investigated in a bid to protect the public from aggressive seagulls.
Ross Vettraino, Fife Council’s environment convener, said the local authority would not dismiss the possibility of a cull following several reports of members of the public being attacked in Kirkcaldy.
The high-profile assaults have enraged many, with calls from some for population control measures to be implemented.
“We should not discount anything,” said Mr Vettraino.
“We should closely investigate every possibility.
“It is a problem that seems to be getting more and more acute.
“It is something that is being reported more frequently and that could be an indication that things are getting worse.”
While coastal towns throughout Tayside and Fife are often plagued by aggressive seagulls, Kirkcaldy is particularly affected by the birds.
Town centre BID group Kirkcaldy 4 All is operating a nest and egg removal initiative to humanely control gull numbers in the area, however, the problem extends beyond the immediate town centre.
Last week, The Courier reported on the plight of Margaret Cruickshanks, who was walking her son’s dog in the Hayfield area of the town when she was attacked by a seagull.
She claims the assault prompted her to suffer a heart attack, from which she is now recovering at home in Glenrothes.
As a protected species, a mass cull of seagulls cannot take place without special dispensation, however, Peter Menellis, who has previously voiced his concerns about the behaviour of the town’s gulls, has called for a cull to be instigated.
Having witnessed two children being attacked in recent months, the 24-yearold said: “Something needs to be done about this problem.
“These birds can’t continue to go about attacking people.
“It is sad to say but I think we should be looking to cull them.”
Council co-leader David Alexander said on Monday that changes in the law would be required to allow Fife Council to act, with Kirkcaldy MSP David Torrance calling on the local authority to look for “lasting solutions” to protect the public.
Meanwhile, Mr Menellis’ calls have been echoed by David Henderson, chairman of Kirkcaldy West Community Council, who was attacked by a gull on Monday.
Though escaping without injury, he said the situation was close to spiralling out of control.
“I’m not averse to seeing more action taken,” he said.
“This is not just a Kirkcaldy problem now, but an east coast issue. We need to look at how we can control their numbers.”
Our report on Fife woman Margaret Cruickshanks who said she suffered a heart attack after a seagull attack.