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Berwick MP warns of people using firearms to kill seagulls

Photo: PA

The MP for Berwick-upon Tweed says people in the town have been using their own firearms to cull an out of control population of seagulls.

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

She was speaking at a debate in Parliament, where MPs called on the government to crack down on the seagull population in costal towns and cities following a number of attacks.

She said that it is concerning that people are taking the situation into their own hands:

We are plagued with the seagull problem, to the point where last summer someone took it upon themselves to initiate their own cull, which, while appreciated in some quarters, brought the risk that people are having to take it into their own hands to deal with these really difficult and aggressive birds. It means some people are wandering the streets of Berwick carrying firearms that really shouldn't be doing so. So the impact of that is very real.

– Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP

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

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."