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Fine Gael councillor calls for seagulls to be fed contraceptive pills

A Fine Gael councillor on Fingal County Council in Dublin has called for seagulls to be given contraceptive pills to reduce their numbers.

The comments were made this week by Aoibhinn Tormey, who told the Irish Independent that the issue of growing seagull populations goes “beyond signage and bins,” and that the birds are actually regularly attacking people.

“The birds are aggressive, particularly during nesting season when they’re all spread around the coastal areas. In Howth, they’ll attack people for food,” she reportedly said.

“The problem is that people will feed them but then they’ll come back and grab the food.

“There have been instances where people get hurt and bleed. It’s a situation that needs to be dealt with.

“…I think the department has to look at this and start exploring next-level interventions, particularly in Howth where it hasn’t been done before. Whether it’s removing eggs or if the contraceptive thing works, but I think we need to be looking beyond signage and bins because the problem is much worse than that.”

The councillor added that it was a “public safety issue.”

Notably, last September a four-year-old girl in a buggy was reportedly left bleeding by a seagull in St. Stephen’s Green park, with the bird attempting to grab a rice cake out of her hand. The girls’ parent described the incident as “traumatic” for the whole family, and many complaints of injuries, litter and noise were made to the city council about the creatures.

According to media reports in 2019, a two-year-old girl was left with facial injuries by a flock of seagulls just days after the birds killed her family’s dog.

Earlier this year Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien approved a cull of the animals, which prompted severe backlash from certain Green Party members such as TD Neasa Hourigan, who described the move as “hideous” and “illegal” last month.




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