Cruel Gull Cull Call


Baby seagulls fed by their mother in Dublin city centre in June

We’ve taken away the herrings from herring gulls, and most of the other fish in the sea, then built on their nesting sites.

We have in fact destroyed their environment. So the gulls have had to come inshore to feed and nest.

Being a raucous and dirty bunch ourselves, we congregate in large numbers, make lots of noise to advertise our presence (particularly in Temple Bar!) and leave lots of “food” (waste) lying around on the ground, in bins and in landfill sites.

We also, conveniently for the gulls, carry it around in our hands as we walk, and lay it out on rugs and tables. The only way to reduce seagull populations in cities is to conduct a major cull of waste bins and outlaw eating outdoors, particularly while on the move.

In other countries, Japan for instance, there are no public waste bins, and eating on the street is considered particularly uncouth.

It is patronising to say that Bird Watch Ireland “has yet to catch up with the fact that […] they have become pests”.

Its role is to protect birds, not humans. Nor are herring gulls “oversized”. Many will die from starvation from a stomach full of plastic, thrown away by humans.

We need to stop the environmental destruction caused by our lifestyles and stop blaming gulls for a problem they didn’t cause.

Elaine Mullan,
Co Waterford.


Seagulls in Dublin (Irish Times letters page)

Related: Why it is time for a cull of seagulls in Dublin (Frank McDonald, The Irish Times)


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40 thoughts on “Cruel Gull Cull Call

        1. martco

          well now I’d say even the breastmeat on the adult birds would be fairly tough so a curry would I reckon be the thing, or maybe a casserole/slow cooker job? If you were hoping for panfried or grilled I think you’d want only the very young birds for tender meat, not sure what the meat yield on them would be like though

          Of course before going for it you’d REALLY HAVE TO find a way to give the bird a good cleanup before cooking given how they carry all sorts of bacteria & ultimately some pretty serious diseases like histoplasmosis, encephalitis, salmonella, meningitis, toxoplasmosis etc.

    1. retroboy

      Wow, you guys are arguing about “them pesky birds”. The gulls will be here long after we will.


  1. Mr.Fart

    Well said, Elaine. I can’t get over it when people casually call for the killing of a species that were here long before we were.

  2. Col

    Genuine question- why have their numbers increased throughout the cities in the last number of years?
    Surely herring stock have been depleted for decades?

    1. Kingfisher

      We’ve fished out the oceans. It’s not just herring.
      The solution is obvious: feed the obsolete fishermen to the seagulls. It’s well known that all the nice gulls love a sailor.

  3. paul

    Having endured personal injury, destruction of property and attacks on younger and older relatives, I disagree.

    In the coastal town where I live they used to be a part of the seaside environment with cliffside nesting, hunting and occasional scavenging from us. The cliff nests are now all empty, the gulls are now nesting on rooftops seeking easier food inland and their numbers have exploded. Plenty of neighbours are fond of them and even feed them but the numbers of these people dwindle as they, in turn, are attacked by the birds.

    They are opportunistic birds with no natural predators and the only thing keeping their numbers from expanding further is the destruction of nests that we (now legally) undertake a few times a year.

    Humans are, of course, responsible for this change in behaviour and we reap the ‘rewards’. I think it’s our responsibility to deal with it.

    1. millie vanilly strikes again

      And +1 from me.

      As a coastal town dweller, where they are proposing the culls, I totally agree. They are a pest in the truest sense of the word.

      1. Mr.Fart

        you’re both proving her points. im not gettin into a debate on it, me n millie danced this dance yesterday and she ended up getting angry and insulting so im not doin that. i just want to say i dont think its up to us to decide the lives of birds. they were here first. we have to adapt, rather than wipe swathes of em out. like elaine said, look how they do it in japan. we’re too quick to go to the sword, when theres more intelligible ways and respectful to mother nature.

        1. Termagant

          It is up to us though. We’re the reason they’re thriving. There’s no natural order element here. The birds were here first on the planet earth in a general sense, but we’re not culling birds in general. We’re culling the freak offshoot population of birds that exists solely as a result of our presence here.

        2. millie vanilly strikes again

          I said you were pontificating. Which you were.

          And talking out of your botty. Which, again, you were. You were comparing the cull of a bird with murder.

          If I wanted to insult you, you’ve already given me plenty of ammo for that.

          1. Mr.Fart

            You’re a rude woman, Milldred. Pack up your belongings into your Frank Keanes BMW and move somewhere else. I hope the next time a seagull whisks your kid away and feeds her to her young. Hm. seems like we both can be rude.

          2. Mr.Fart

            ps. I think you think culling is just removing nests, or, i dunno, preventing them from breeding. But that’s only one arm of it, they literally kill lots and lots of them to cull them.

          3. millie vanilly strikes again

            Bravo. Well played. After all those lovely rape jokes you made I didn’t think it was possible for you to get any lower but there is a bottom of the barrel even for someone like you.

            You’ve managed to show precisely how unintelligent, illogical and generally creepy you are in a handful of words. Top work. Your name doesn’t really do justice to the kind of person you are.

  4. postmanpat

    We must meet this threat with our valor, our blood, indeed with our very lives to ensure that human civilization, not seagull, dominates this galaxy now and always!

  5. Skeptik

    Birdwatch Ireland don’t talk much about the gulls taking over and displacing other species. There used to be quite a large number of crows and no gulls around my area. Over the last few years, the gulls came in and literally chased away the crows. Not one to shy away from a fight, I did see the crows try to fend them off, but it’s all gull screeching you hear all day long now and no crows visible anymore. And this is 30kms from the sea and not near a dump or major body of water.

  6. george

    I’m not sure about culls but something has to be done. Stephen’s green is ridiculous and there aren’t even signs saying “do not feed the seagull’s”.

    Have had a sandwich snatched and another close call. Maybe a bird of prey could be used by the OPW to scare them off like they do to try and control pigeon number in Trafalgar Square

    1. paul

      I had heard that the flock of ducks in Stephens Green are being threatened by gulls as well, the same flock (obviously with newer members) that (by dint of their existence and cuteness) encouraged a daily ceasefire in 1916 so they could be fed*.

      *I’ve read the above in two places and heard it from more people but I’m open to being wrong.

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