LETTER: Gulls are a health issue

It might be a case of seagull bashing to some people but it is a serious issue when you live bang in the middle of seven or so active nests and three or four people actively feeding them.

I have lived in Tenterden Close for 25 years and this year so far has been the worst for noise. When I have been on the phone I have been asked why am I outside on the phone and on two occasions I have had to end the call and call back at a later time when it was less noisy.

Now, for everyone who says ‘Ah, poor gulls’, ‘Ah look at the lovely little chicks’ or ‘they were here before us and stop complaining’. Well, do you realise that they are a public health issue? Did you know that these birds carry diseases that are potentially fatal to humans especially the you and old or those that have underlying health issues such as asthma, heart problems and diabetes?

Have you never thought to ask yourselves that while they are digging around in our dustbins, are they picking up bacteria? Would you yourself or you children enjoy rummaging around your bins, ripping open bags and then eating pieces of raw meat, or other foodstuff contaminated with some slimy gunk? Well, that’s what Herring Gulls do and they are good at it. This means that on their beaks they have lethal germs and diseases.

Why do you buy cleaners that apparently kill 99% of all known germs?

This reduces your immune system and makes you more prone to falling ill. What happens when you end up getting scratched by a gull which could happen to anyone? I have been cut many times over the years, fortunately with no effect.

Listeria - has a fatality rate of 20% and yet it is widely known that Herring Gulls carry this bacteria. This can cause meningitis and sepsis both can lead to death; salmonella – leads to typhoid fever and other symptoms caused by food poisoning; botulism - kills between 5 - 10% of victims; e. coli - we have all heard of this and do what we can in our homes to reduce this; campylobacter - like botulism it attacks your immune system, another killer.

These are also found in rats, you know the furry things, the ones we kill without hesitation with poison. Herring gulls can kill, not by stabbing you but by infection. So why do we want them around? Why do we want them around children? Why do we want them around the elderly? Why do we feed them?

If you feed them, then you are partly responsible for anyone who falls ill after a gull attack or even getting splattered by mess. Herring gulls are not a cuddly cute creature that needs our help to survive. They are survivors and killers!

N. Hewett

Tenterden Close