Dundee city council workers have destroyed more than 170 gulls so far in 2018 — with the number still likely to rise.
Figures obtained by the Tele via a freedom of information request show that council staff in Dundee have killed 174 gulls to date.
It’s nearly as many as were destroyed for the whole of 2017, and 50% more than the 116 that were dealt with back in 2015. The total in 2016 was 191.
However, it’s still some way off from the 218 birds that were destroyed by council workers in 2014.
Birds are terminated by council staff where required by exercising rights under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
They will often target nests and gulls during the peak of the breeding season, which runs from April until the end of July.
The law usually forbids the destruction of protected species, including gulls.
However, a spokesman for the council said exceptions can be made when there is a risk to public safety.
The spokesman added: “Dundee City Council does not undertake ‘culls’ of gulls.
“Any actions taken are in accordance with the general licence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
“This allows for the destruction of birds under certain circumstances, but this is only permissible where it can be demonstrated that they pose a risk to public safety or health, and only when all other non-lethal methods of control have been investigated and discounted.
“Pest control officers are also actively involved in removing eggs and nests throughout the breeding season, which is approximately April to July.
“This action greatly reduces the incidences of aggressive behaviour as well as the consequence of disrupting and reducing the breeding pattern.”