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Cornish councillor dresses up as seagull

Top of the pecking order: Helston Councillor John Boase Credit: ITV West Country

A Cornwall councillor has been dressing up as a seagull as part of a new campaign against litter. Councillor John Boase joined other members of Helston Town Council to promote seagull-proof sacks. It's hoped residents will use them to prevent the birds from tearing apart bin bags.

Please do not feed the councillor. John Boase gets into the role of marauding seagull. Credit: ITV West Country

"What happens is people put their rubbish out the night before the binmen come and so the seagulls have got plenty of time to play with it. I'm sure the people aren't doing it out of any inconsiderateness, they're just not realising it. So we thought we could publicise it with a fun event"

– Cllr Martine Knight, Helston Town Council

Man scared to leave house after seagull attacks

Barry Poore was dive-bombed by seagulls near his workplace. Credit: ITV News

A man from Cornwall says he's too scared to leave his home after a series of attacks by seagulls.

In the latest incident, Barry Poore from Newquay suffered a dislocated shoulder and cuts to his hands when he was dive-bombed by a flock of gulls near his work.

Mr. Poore told us he's staying inside following a warning that any sudden movement could put his shoulder out again.

Barry Poore's shoulder was dislocated in the attack. Credit: ITV News

Seagulls are on people's minds in our region. The Prime Minister has spoken about the issue, in the wake of several reports of gull attacks on pets and people in recent weeks.

There have been several reports of seagull attacks in our region in recent weeks. Credit: Craig Watson/PA


Cornwall Council urge people not to feed seagulls or leave litter out

Cornwall Council are urging people not to feed the gulls. Credit: Wayne Parry

Cornwall Council are encouraging residents to play their part to prevent seagulls from attacking people and pets.

They say everyone can play a part in solving the problem by disposing of litter carefully, not feeding the gulls and putting rubbish out for collection in a seagull proof sack.

With incidents of gulls swooping down on people as they eat and attacks on individuals and animals, concerns have been raised about how to tackle the problem.

At this time of year herring gulls are feeding and protecting their young and will aggressively seek out food by any means possible.

Unfortunately, by feeding the birds, leaving rubbish bags out for collection unsecured and dropping litter in the street, humans have made it easy for them and this is one of the main reasons we are experiencing the problems we are having today.

If we are serious about tackling this issue then the solution starts with us all. Please dispose of your litter carefully, don't feed the gulls and either put rubbish out for collection in a bin or seagull proof sack.

– Councillor Geoff Brown

RSPB call on government to hold National Gull Summit

It's thought the gulls are behaving aggressively because they are trying to protect their young. Credit: ITV News

RSPB have written to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) proposing a National Gull Summit to tackle the issue.

The news comes after David Cameron recently said a "big conversation" was needed about the threat from aggressive birds.

The Prime Minister spoke out after two attacks in Cornwall left a pet tortoise and a Yorkshire terrier dead.

But the RSPB believe the summit must also look at the wider issues of the plight facing many of these birds:

Any such conversation must be based on the very best evidence – otherwise it’s likely to be dominated by anecdote and guided by those who shout loudest. The RSPB would also add that it should look at the issue in the ‘round; on the wider issue of the plight of these birds across the board and not simply about “how we rid ourselves of the menace”.

There’s so much we need to learn about these birds, and this is a real opportunity to look at how we can live comfortably with our wild companions, and do the best for both birds and people.


Police dub seagull poisoning as 'cruel and unnecessary'

There's a been a new twist in the seagull saga after police in Dorset took to social media to label a seagull poisoning as "cruel and unnecessary".

Credit: Dorset Police

The Bridport, Beaminster and Lyme Regis Safer Neighbourhood Team posted this photo on their social media account with the message 'Love them or loathe them. One of our resident seagulls near the Dorset Police station at Bridport (currently looking after its chick) is suffering following a suspected poisoning.'

The RSPCA were called to the bird, who agreed it had been poisoned. They are now looking after it.

All gulls, like other wild birds, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, making it illegal to intentionally injure or kill any gull or to damage or destroy an active nest or its contents.


Family's pet tortoise killed by seagull

Credit: Craig Watson/PA

A Liskeard woman has told ITV News West Country of the 'devastating' moment she found a seagull attacking her pet tortoise.

Stig and his brother George were both in the family's garden, where they spent most of their days happily munching on the grass and wild flowers. Jan Byrne, 43, said she returned from work to find a large gull "pecking a lump" in the garden. To her horror, it was her beloved pet, Stig.

We kept them in the garden by day as vets said it was best for them to roam free and eat grass. I came home to find a Seagull attacking Stig. He'd been flipped on his back and was being pecked so viciously. It was horrible - I was shaking with shock.

– Jan Byrne

Stig died from his injuries two days later. Mrs Byrne told us about the attack, which happened three weeks ago, after seeing yesterday's news story about a pet dog that had died after a seagull attack.

Mrs. Byrne says there is no evidence of any seagull nests at their property, but is concerned that litter and rubbish left on streets in the area has been attracting the gulls to come and look for food.

Seagull kills dog in Cornwall

Roo the Yorkshire terrier was killed by a seagull Credit: Emily Vincent

A dog has been killed by a seagull in Cornwall. Roo the Yorkshire terrier was attacked in the garden of his owner's home at St Columb Minor near Newquay.

The bird swooped down from the roof and pecked at tiny Roo's head. He was later put down after a vet decided he could not survive his wounds. Roo's owner Emily Vincent now fears for the safety of her two other dogs.

Specially trained hawk to ward off seagulls in Plymouth

Credit: Daniel Naupold/DPA/Press Association Images

A Hawk will be flying above the buildings in Plymouth City centre this morning to ward off badly behaved seagulls! It's been specially trained to fly but not attack gulls after complaints that they are swooping on people. The hawk patrol will be in the city centre every Tuesday until the end of September.

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