MSP to add his voice to gull pleas

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THE SHEER volume of Review readers who have contacted us, desperate to find a solution to the problem of screeching, hostile, filthy gulls, has convinced us that the powers-that-be must be made aware of the depth of public feeling.

We contacted local MSP Nigel Don and he has kindly agreed to press Holyrood to find a way to deal with the problem at its most serious.

That is after chicks have hatched and parents are attacking humans and dogs, when the birds are fully protected by the might of the law, and any human who dares to retaliate faces prosecution.

Mr Don said: “I am well aware of the problems regarding this issue, and as a first step I have contacted the Scottish Parliament to clarify exactly what we are allowed to do.”

One of the main things to discover is whether or not exceptional circumstances are catered for so that if a serious problem is being caused by one gull, or a group of gulls, action can be taken legally.

If it turns out that gulls are allowed to attack humans without any curb on their activities, we believe readers would find that appalling.

And we also think those who are affected by the gulls would wish the law to be changed by the Government at Holyrood to protect them.

Readers continue to provide evidence of the growing problem.

David Wood wrote: “I have lived in Market Street since 1991, and this seagull problem has grown every year until it is becoming a serious problem for my family and our living environment.

“We have behind our home business and church buildings whose roofs provide a perfect breeding environment for seagulls.”

Mr Wood mentioned specific problems: “The noise at any time of day or night is incredible. We and our two children are constantly woken due to seagull noise. The mess on cars, windows, streets and pavements for droppings is disgusting.”

Mr Wood added: “If a dog was responsible for such mess the owner would be in trouble. How can the level of droppings not be a health hazard?

“A business in Market Street, with much investment and creating employment, was closed for a time because of noise. Yet the noise created by these birds is uncontrolled.

“Why do business owners not have to bear any responsibility for keeping their roofs in a condition that prevents nesting?”

“Someone in authority should take a random walk around the area and log the level of noise and the concentrated mess made by the gulls!”

He concluded: “As a 56-year-old Montrosian I have no desire to see the end of seagulls, they are part of our seaside town. But there must be limits as to noise, etc., in the main town environment.”

And Peter Swan, Mill Lane, is another who has suffered attacks on his person by gulls.

He commented: “Apart from their generous deposits here, there and everywhere, they do attack people. 1 have had my hair raised in George Street.”

Mr Swan is in full agreement about the attraction for the gulls in that area, adding: “Walking from Mill Lane, via the footpath by Bamse’s grave to the Splash Area, one of the main reasons for the increase is evident. The rooftops of disused premises along the way have been used for years as nesting sites by the gulls. Some of the roofs now resemble small holdings, with greenery covering vast tracts.

“Disused or derelict, there will be owners who should be held to account for the clearance of the roofs. With money at sake, it might even inspire the owners to seek uses that could help support the developing harbour and provide local work opportunities.”

“A young gull dropped on to the balcony approach of my home last week. I had not been aware gulls were nesting on my roof. The ugly offspring of this beautiful but obnoxious bird remains.

“The SSPCA were quick to advise me that the birds were protected and I had to learn that we share the same planet. Explaining that the aggressive parents were winging their way over the small area set aside for three families’ washing, and that my neighbours use their outside area regularly, they were less than helpful. The SSPCA told me to remove the chick to a patch of local greenery.

“With four score years under my belt and no transport, the prospect of walking along the road with a gull tucked underneath my arm was not a practical suggestion. SSPCA suggested I beg assistance. I don’t beg.”

Mr Swan concluded: “Birds are protected, people are not.”