Seagull expert: ‘council wrong’

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THE managing director of one of Scarborough’s leading pest control companies has accused the council of getting it wrong over seagulls.

Andrew Hunn, of East Coast Pest Control, believes measures introduced in April 2010 by Scarborough Council, making it illegal to remove nests and eggs, are “100 per cent wrong”.

He states that it is perfectly legal for land owners, or people with the consent of the land owner, to clear nests and eggs from properties affected by the common herring gull.

Mr Hunn, who has been in the pest control business for 15 years, said: “The herring gull, unlike the kittiwake, is on Natural England’s amber list, rather than the red list.

“This means that they are not endangered, and as a result, any bird nesting can be removed legally.

“Mistakes like this from the council are costing businesses money and, worst of all, they are misleading the public.”

Mr Hunn’s comments follow on from a story in the Evening News on Tuesday, which focused on proposed new measures to tackle the issue of gull control in Scarborough.

Network Rail is currently awaiting planning permission to install protective netting to the top of the Victorian railway station clock tower in Westborough.

Scarborough business owners also spoke out against the gulls, demanding tougher action to be taken against the birds.

Since the story was published a debate has broken out over Scarborough’s gull issue on the Evening News website and Facebook page, as well as in emails to the paper.

Michael Hill said he is woken three or four times a night by the gulls.

In his email he said: “Sometimes the noise is horrendous, they live on roofs at the back of my premises and they are constantly squawking, even throughout the night.

“Something has to be done about this, it’s not fair to have your lives ruled by seagulls.”

On Facebook, Stacey Houston was more supportive of the gulls, saying: “We live by the sea we should expect seagulls.

“We have a right to live and breed, so should they.”

However, Stephen Common Jennings was more blunt with his solution to the towns seagull problem, saying: “Any birds that nest on houses should be culled.”