Poll: Should UK towns and cities be allowed to clip seagulls’ wings?

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Kebab-stealing seagulls could have their wings clipped after George Osborne set aside £250,000 of budget funding to stop their scavenging raids on British towns and cities.

Part of the chancellor’s plan to get Britain “walking tall” involves more research into the aggressive behaviour of urban gulls, which the Treasury said had become widespread.

The Liberal Democrat MP Don Foster claimed it as a victory, having campaigned for years for more funding to research the problem that affects his own constituency in Bath.

In 2012, Foster hosted a “seagull summit” for MPs from areas around the UK affected by gull attacks. He said he was thrilled by the news of the funding.

The government is targeting seagulls, which campaigners say have become a scourge on British towns and cities. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

“For several years people in Bath have been contacting me about this issue and asking for action,” he said. “Urban gulls cause mess, noise and damage to property, and are very aggressive in the nesting season.”

However, Labour suggested the decision was part of a cynical ploy by the chancellor to offer sweeteners to voters in Conservative and Liberal Democrat constituencies before the general election in May.

Jon Ashworth, the shadow Cabinet Office minister, told the Financial Times it was “pork-barrel politics at its worst”.

The chancellor set aside £56,000 for the refurbishment of the Muni theatre in Pendle, a seat won by the Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson in 2010 with a majority of about 3,600.

Other measures included £97m to support the regeneration of Brent Cross in Hendon, where the Tory MP Matthew Offord will defend a majority of just 106.

The Treasury told the FT that money had not been disproportionately directed towards marginal seats, highlighting the coalition’s £13bn investment in transport infrastructure across Labour strongholds in the north of England.

This article was first published by The Guardian on 20 Mar 2015.

We invite you to share your opinion whether UK towns and cities should be allowed to clip seagulls’ wings. Please vote and leave your comments below.

Should UK towns and cities be allowed to clip seagulls' wings?

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Kris Reed
Kris Reed

I feed Gulls every day from a feeding -station I have…I do this because they are bloody well starving…due to US eating all their main source of food…FISH



Paul Seligman
Paul Seligman

Cat Vincent – this is a totally misleading heading and article (irresponsible on a nature blog, I'd say). At first I had same thought as you. But no one is suggesting lietrally clipping wings, it's a figure of speech.

The Chancellor has given a grant for RESEARCH into urban gull behaviour which may or may not ultimately be used to find humane ways to control any 'nuisance' populations. No need to panic.

Chris Courtney

More research that will then be ignored (as per the scientific research that didn't support the badger cull) when the science doesn't produce the 'right' answer! Most gull species have in actual fact declined over recent decades, but being intelligent creatures they have learned to take advantage of the huge amounts of food wasted by humans!

Cat Vincent
Cat Vincent

OMG, would people rather have dead and dying seagulls everywhere because they are unable to fly and forage for food and catch fish???? The emphasis should be on cleaning up the food trash and educating people to NOT walk along the streets munching fast food, and to NOT leave tidbits lying around and NOT leave their food trash in open bins. The Great British Public needs to catch a wake up – not just for the sake of Seagulls but for their own health's sake.

John Mceachen

The photograph in the article is of my wonderful town of Whitby, which is invaded regularly by a minority of the dirty, litter scattering, chip eating, aggressive………tourists. The gulls involved are herring gulls (there are many gulls which use the sea so no such creature as a "seagull") I can only speak with experience of the Whitby area, but the Government money would be better spent on developing bye-laws and employing staff to deter people from feeding the herring gulls (for it is they!) with chips and fish scraps which habitualises the birds to easy pickings wherever they see a… Read more »