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MPs warn of 'seagull wars' ahead of breeding season

Seagulls are a 'scourge' on seaside resorts Credit: AP

Seagulls are causing such mayhem in Britain that bird vigilante groups are arming themselves with guns and launching their own culls, an MP has said.

Conservative MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who represents Berwick-upon-Tweed, said locals have been "wandering the streets" of the northern seaside town in order to kill the birds.

Her comments come as concerns mount that the notorious scavenger birds will attack Britons as the breeding season comes this spring.

Speaking during a Westminster Hall debate on the "scourge" of gulls, Ms Trevelyan said the town was "plagued" by the birds.

She told colleagues: "In Berwick-upon-Tweed, my constituency, we are plagued with the seagull problem, to the point that last summer someone took it upon themselves to institute their own cull, which, while appreciated in some quarters, brought the risk that people are having to take the law into their own hands to deal with these really difficult and aggressive birds.

"Which means there are people wandering the streets of Berwick with firearms who really shouldn't be doing so.

"So the impact of that frustration is very, very real."

Seagulls can be incredibly aggressive, and have snatched food from people's hands Credit: PA

Seagull attacks were so bad in 2015 that then-Prime Minister David Cameron called for a "big conversation" about the problem.

Tory MP Oliver Colvile said the birds have attacked pensioners and terrorised communities, leaving some people needing hospital treatment.

He warned that breeding season hits in the spring, and that by May, "eggs will be hatching and the gulls become even more aggressive as they seek to protect their young".

He added: "As we head into the summer, we could very well see gull wars on our high streets."

Mr Colvile urged the Government to do more to bring the numbers of birds under control, but denied he is urging for a crackdown because his friend had his chips stolen by a seagull while they were canvassing.

"This is not a vendetta," he said. "It is an opportunity to ensure that shoppers, residents and tourists feel safe when they are outdoors."

SNP MP Kirsty Blackman said her constituency Aberdeen North is home to giant seagulls that terrorise people.

Gesturing to illustrate the size of the birds, she said: "The Aberdeen seagull is the size of a large dog, it is absolutely ginormous, and it regularly gets mentioned.

"People that come to uni in Aberdeen from Glasgow or from elsewhere in Scotland or England are shocked at the size of these creatures because, they are not like normal seagulls, they are ginormous."