Calls to fine people who feed seagulls in South Shields

Herring Gull
Herring Gull

People who feed seagulls in South Shields should be fined, a poll of our readers has found.

Gulls stealing food, making a mess and even attacking passersby are regularly heard in the town, with calls to crack down on the problem.

Another seaside community has decided to tackle the issue of gulls at what it believes to be the source - those who feed the birds.

And a poll of Gazette readers found 72% of you feel a similar ban should be introduced here - though there were mixed views on the issue of gulls among those commenting on our story.

Selina Danielle said: "Yes, fine them. I won't even let my kids eat outside down Shields now because the seagulls are a nightmare. There should be pest control for them. People wouldn't be standing feeding rats in the street, so why feed the vermin birds that cause such a nuisance?"

Claire Rutter said: "My kids used to love feeding them but now it has really getting out of hand they were swooping down on my granddaughter's pram last week for her saveloy, and took my bloody mince pie right out of my hand.

"As much as I love them, as they are a part of are seaside town, that has to stop, as they are going to injure someone."

Jayne Hart. "Definitely. They are getting more vicious each year. In a few more generations of seagulls, they won't even know they are supposed to go catch fish from the sea. They will just eat human food."

She added: "They should stop feeding them as it's stopping them from behaving like seagulls and go and fish for their food. Seagulls are part of being a seaside town, but if humans don't back off and stop feeding them they will continue to get more vicious"

Kerrie Burgess said: "Seagulls are scavengers and will go for the easiest therefore take the easiest food away and they will go back to eating what is natural for them. They survived a long time before people started feeding them. Fine anybody who feeds them!"

Joanne Welsh said: "There's so many of them in town now because there are more and more fast food outlets.

"That coupled with the fact that there are so many people who are too lazy to put their rubbish into a bin and prefer to throw it on the ground encourages them."

Kelly Summerly said: "Something needs doing to control these birds , they have no fear for humans and will attack if they think they can gain food from them, this problem will only get worse if its not addressed and sorted soon."

Keith Hezz Heslop called them "rats with wings" and others called for more drastic measures.

Victor Ditchburn said: "They need to cull them, health hazard."

Collette Watson agreed.

However, there were many who were quick to stick up for our winged neighbours.

Siobhan Bailey said: "Traditional food sources are declining they have learned to forage in landfill sites further inland and on urban streets. They are taking advantage of our wastefulness and are more aggressive when breeding. This is the result of human greed!"

Kerry Tubbrit said: "Have you seen the crap disposed of in our oceans? Bits plastic and all sort in there - no wonder they want to be fed from the land."

Peter St Clair said: "We live in a seaside town, it's inevitable that where people are they know there's food. I grew up in Park Avenue from 1951 ,the land at the bottom of our street became a huge rubbish dump and the seagulls invaded in huge numbers. We just put up with them."

Helen Wade sadi: "I will always feed my leftover to them, they have a right to live, to feed there young, we take more than what a few give back, people know that these birds will come down, well a few do, so look around before eating and see what's about be aware of the going on around you.

John Slater said: "I think you need to encourage people to come to South Shields rather than the threat of fining them."