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'Vicious' seagulls 'endangering society' says Irish senator in call for cull

Published 20/07/2015

There have been calls by Irish politicians to cull seagulls
There have been calls by Irish politicians to cull seagulls

Fears over the menace of seagulls have swooped on the Irish parliament with fresh warnings the birds are now endangering society.

On the back of remarks by David Cameron that a "big conversation" is needed about the threat, Irish senator Denis O'Donovan has demanded a cull of the "vicious" seabirds.

Because of fish shortages in the sea, the winged scavengers have taken to "invading" towns and villages, where they "attack" children's fish and chips, the parliamentarian said.

"I think it is coming to the stage where they are endangering society," he told the Seanad, the upper house of parliament in Dublin.

Mr O'Donovan insisted it was a "serious enough issue" and has called for the Dublin parliament to have a debate on dangerous seagulls after the summer recess.

"No lesser a person than the prime minster of our neighbours David Cameron has come out publicly to record his concerns and his worry about the way the seagulls are behaving," he said.

The Fianna Fail senator said it was a fact that fish in the sea was getting scarce, so seagulls were turning to killing lambs and rabbits and "taking food out of children's mouths."

Last year, his party colleague Ned O'Sullivan claimed seagulls in Dublin had "lost the run of themselves".

"I'm asking for a debate on this very important issue. Seagulls are actually becoming a nuisance and a pest," said Mr O'Donovan.

"I think it's important that we should consider Senator O'Sullivan's request last year that we should look at a cull on this vicious seabird, which is against our grain, they were normally living out at sea, they nest on the cliffs, but they are now invading the towns and the villages."

Mr Cameron spoke out about seagulls after two attacks in Cornwall left a pet tortoise and a Yorkshire terrier dead.

The Prime Minister said a "big conversation needs to happen about this" and added: "We do have a problem."

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