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Senator suggests using lasers to keep 'aggressive' seagulls at bay

Senators continue the fight against loud, aggressive seagulls.

Image: Shutterstock/Stephen Rees

A FIANNA FÁIL Senator has suggested using lasers as an alternative to culling “aggressive seagulls” in urban areas.

The Fianna Fáil Senator, Lorraine Clifford-Lee told the Seanad yesterday that seagulls “are dangerous, dirty and it’s impossible to get a night’s sleep for several months each summer as they nest and rear their young.

They have a tendency to attack and reports from members of the public locally suggest that they viciously attack for scraps.

Dublin Fingal politician stressed that although it seemed like a joke, that seagulls were ‘increasingly aggressive’ and “a European-wide issue”.

“…in the UK, scientists have been studying the use of lasers in deterring gulls from nesting in urban areas; however, the effectiveness remains to be determined.

“I hope that similar options will be examined and explored to deal with the problem in North Dublin.”

Previously in the Dáil, Kerry senator Ned O’Sullivan said that seagulls had “lost the run of themselves completely”.

“They’re very raucous, they’re keeping people awake,” he complained – to muffled laughter from his colleagues.

The bird’s defence

The type of bird locally referred to as a ‘seagull’ is actually called an Irish herring gull.

The number of herring gulls have declined by well over 50% over the past few decades, and the species is on BirdWatch Ireland’s “red list”, meaning it is of particular conservation concern.

“People think there’s more of them around because they see them more,” BirdWatch Ireland’s development officer Niall Hatch told TheJournal.ie in a previous article, adding that many of them are now moving into urban areas.

“We do get lots of reports of activity around the Grafton Street and Stephen’s Green area though, from people feeding the ducks.”

It’s never good when wild animals start to associate people with food.

The Department of Arts Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs have been contacted for comment.

Read: A senator thinks seagulls are “losing the run of themselves”… Well. Are they?

Read: Seagulls are not monsters – let’s stop the hysteria

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