Citizens of the South Holland city of Leiden have complained about nuisance from gulls for years. During the breeding season the noise level is so great that people cannot sleep at night. The local branch of the political party CDA wants to put an end to the nuisance once and for all. They are seeking an exception to the ‘flora-and-fauna’ law which prohibits killing the gulls. The animal protection group Dierenbescherming opposes the plan.
CDA is taking the problem of sleep deprivation seriously. Public safety is also affected by the gulls, who rip open garbage bags and litter the city. The gulls have also been known to attack people if they feel their young are being threatened.
Seeking the killing exception comes after the city has already tried to discourage the birds by shaking eggs and placing anti-gull netting over popular nesting spots. A falconer was also used, but to no success.
In a press release Dierenbescherming recognized the nuisance caused by the gulls but called for alternative solutions to be explored, rather than killing the birds. The protection of these splendid, ingenious birds is worth the trouble. Shooting birds will not be a lasting solution and will only lead to the birds suffering.
Dierenbescherming proposes the only way to get the gulls out of Leiden is to reduce the food on offer for them. Therefore Leiden has to improve trash disposal and insure containers are closed and clean up must be more frequent.