LETTER OF THE DAY: Seagull attacks on humans are very rare

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Around this time of year a number of stories will appear in the press about ‘aggressive’ seagulls.

It is important to remember why gulls’ behaviour alters in the changing seasons, so we can try to be a little more patient and understanding.

During the beginning of summer, gull chicks will be hatching from their eggs.

As with numerous other species, the new parents are fiercely protective over their young, and may occasionally become aggressive in order to see off any perceived threats to their nest and offspring.

Violent ‘attacks’ on people, however, are very rare and stories are often exaggerated.

Unfortunately, there does tend to be a rise in people calling for culling of gulls, and behaving violently towards them during this time.

There are a number of ways to humanely deter gulls, and discourage them from nesting on roofs, chimneys, and from seeking out food.

Measures that can be taken include keeping spaces free from litter, using gull wire to prevent landing and blocking access to breeding sites once nests have been vacated.

Animal Aid offers free advice sheets on how to deter gulls, along with many other types of wildlife.

These can be ordered by emailing info@animalaid.org.uk or phoning 01732 364 546.

We need to demonstrate a little more patience towards gulls.

Human activity has led to countless changes in their natural environment, and overfishing has affected their usual food source.

Not unlike us, they are just trying to do the best for their young, and proposing to kill them for this reason is horrendous.

Jade Emery

Wildlife Campaigner, Animal Aid, Tonbridge, Kent