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Ministers declare war on plague of urban seagulls

September 11, 2011 11:38 AM
By Matt Chorley, Political Correspondent in The Independent

As numbers have grown, a whole industry has emerged promising to drive the birds out of town. Netting for a large roof can cost up to £70,000. But spikes and tension wires on window ledges and plastic decoy birds such as eagles have done little to halt the surge in numbers.

In Bath, tourists and residents alike have been plagued by a colony which at one stage was growing by almost 25 per cent each year. The council spends £10,000 annually on fighting the problem, including using artificial eggs to convince the gulls to settle down and brood, and experimenting with stronger refuse bags.

Don Foster, the local MP who has lobbied the Government for more research, said: "The current methods simply are not working. The problems are getting worse, and unless we understand what it is that makes them so successful, we are not going to be able to find a solution."

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