LETTER: Gull petition

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Following the Prime Minister’s call for a ‘big conversation’ on gulls, and your own recent coverage of problems with gulls, I have just launched a petition on the Government website.

The petition calls for the £250,000 research budget announced in March to be reinstated after it was axed in the June Budget: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104478

We cannot have a proper conversation without information, and there is very little reliable information about gulls – the last national survey (Seabird 2000) on which decisions about protection are based, is 15 years out of date and did not survey the numbers of urban gulls, whose numbers are now spiralling out of control.

It is vital that a comprehensive national survey is undertaken as a matter of urgency so that we can understand the scope of the problem, and what we might be able to do about it.

Conventional legal means of control – oiling and replacing eggs, and ‘gull-proofing’ roofs – are known by councils throughout the land to be inadequate, but they have no other tools at their disposal.

This is not the time to be cutting back research.

Are we going to wait until the gulls kill a baby?

Please help put pressure on the Government to do the right thing by publicising this petition.

Simon Prentis

Gull Awareness Group

Cheltenham

• Want to share your views? Send your letters by email to letters@shorehamherald.co.uk, letters@worthingherald.co.uk or letters@littlehamptongazette.co.uk, or post them to Letters, Editorial, Cannon House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing, BN11 1NA. Remember to include your full name and address.

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