Seagull rubbish-spreading in Brighton and Hove is set to be tackled with new waste measures - but a cull has been ruled out.
A report by Brighton and Hove City Council has said measures will be taken to prevent gulls from spreading rubbish across the streets.
Meanwhile, the council’s pest control section is set to advise people on how to stop gulls from nesting.
In a report released ahead of a Community Safety Forum, to be held today when the “seagull problem” will be discussed, the council considered the measures which could be taken.
It said: “The council has piloted communal bins in the city centre, which is reducing the amount of domestic food waste in our streets.
“The city domestic refuse services have also been piloting collapsible bins for households, seagull-proof bin sacks and wheelie bins.
“I understand these pilots are soon to be rolled out across the city, along with kerb recycling schemes.”
Elaborating on this, a spokeswoman said: “Last year the council ran a consultation to pilot communal recycling in the Brunswick and Adelaide ward. We received an 87% positive response, so the pilot scheme was launched in March 2012.
"It has been really successful so far, and we will be analysing feedback from residents when the pilot scheme ends next March.
"Depending on results in 2013 the council is proposing to widen the consultation with a view to extending the scheme.”
But the council ruled out taking other measures against seagulls, including shooting them.
It said culling birds was not a good idea as they “are capable of making a round trip of 100km in search of food in only a few hours” and “are considered more intelligent than most”.
The report said: “The discharging of firearms in built up areas will have safety implications.
“The poisoning of birds will engage the minds of the health and safety executive, not only for operatives, but also for passers-by when the moribund fall into the street.”
The council also admitted that “Britain was a nation of animal lovers” and this put them off culling seagulls.
It said: “By far the most difficult situation to deal with would be public reaction. The problem at this level would almost certainly result in heated debate, and possibly direct action.”
- Argus reporter Tim Ridgway has launched a Seagull Appreciation Society which already has scores of members. To join, email firstname.lastname@example.org.