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News Archive > General > Teen under curfew for shooting gulls

Teen under curfew for shooting gulls

By Warren Wilkins 19th September 2018

Teen under curfew for shooting gulls

A Newquay teenager who admitted killing two nesting herring gulls with an air weapon near his home has been sentenced.

Edward Mosley, aged 19, of St Anne’s Road, was ordered to obey a four-week curfew every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7pm until 7am after pleading guilty at Truro Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday. He must also pay £385 court costs and forfeit his air weapon to the court for destruction.

Mosley was charged with intentionally killing the wild birds contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act in the vicinity of St Anne’s Road on or around June 12.

The RSPCA described the attack as “callous” and urged people to “be tolerant of the wildlife around them”.

RSPCA inspector Paul Kempson, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “Gulls have a particularly tough time of it and every year we see callous attacks like this, particularly in coastal areas. We urge people to be tolerant of the wildlife living around them, and remember they are protected under law. All it takes is a bit of care and understanding to minimise any nuisance caused by gulls – such as not feeding the gulls and disposing of litter carefully.

“Blocking off areas where gulls normally nest outside of the breeding season will also help to reduce the problems.”

Gulls and their nests, when being built or in use, are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure wild birds.

Action can only be taken against them under licence. Herring gulls in particular are a species of conservation concern in the UK and research has shown that overall gull populations are in decline.

The RSPCA gives the following advice on living in harmony with gulls:

* In some seaside towns where people have fed gulls, they have learned to snatch food. Try to keep food to yourself but don’t blame them if they can’t tell the difference between scraps willingly offered and your bag of chips!

 *Dispose of edible litter carefully – put it in gull-proof litter bins. Plastic bags left in the street are an open invitation for gulls to investigate. Gull-proof bins are easily acquired, are cheap and very effective. Some local councils have started using hessian bags as gulls cannot peck through them to get to  food.

* Gulls that swoop suddenly on people or pets are usually trying to protect chicks that have got out of/left the nest.  If you see a gull chick leave it alone – its parents can look after it better than you.

* If you see a gull chick – usually mottled brown and grey in colour – leave it alone unless it is obviously sick, injured, in danger or you know its parents are dead. Anyone with concerns for a gull’s welfare should contact the RSPCA Cruelty and Advice Line on 0300 1234 999.

* Gulls make most noise between May and July when  breeding, but should be left alone during this period. Nests are protected while under construction or in use and it is an offence to restrict access to a nest that is being used. If gulls on your roof disturb you, or you are worried they may block a gas flue, you can can deter them before they start nesting by using humane methods like anti-perching devices or deterrence netting. It is vital these are installed appropriately by trained professionals and inspected regularly.

By Warren Wilkins 19th September 2018

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