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WAQ78749 (e) Tabled on 21/08/2019

Following the statement by the Trefnydd on 16 July 2019 that the Environment Minister will look carefully at the different ways local authorities are dealing with the issue of seagulls, will the Minister provide an update on this?

Answered by Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Answered on 02/09/2019

Gull colonies require a suitable roosting site with a plentiful food source nearby.  However, as their natural source of food has become less plentiful, gull populations have declined. A percentage of the gull population has adopted the strategy of moving into urban areas, nesting on inaccessible ledges and rooftops of buildings which replicate their natural nesting sites. These gulls then forage for human food waste, the most readily available source of food available to them, and may become a nuisance.

Seagull nuisance is a matter for Local Authorities (LA’s) in the first instance. LA’s provide advice on the main issue of tackling food sources by raising public awareness about not feeding gulls, whilst also ensuring the proper disposal and removal of waste food.  A potential nesting site is less attractive to gulls without a nearby food source.  Therefore, preventing easy access to food waste is the most effective way to minimise nuisance from gulls.

Populations of gulls are in decline and are therefore protected under UK law and our wider international commitments. It is important that any measures to control urban gulls, which we will continue to consider, do not endanger the population of gulls as a whole.

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