In the past pair of weeks, the UK has come under attack. Whether they’re savaging dog or stealing chips, we’re in the grip of an epidemic of bloodthirsty seagulls with poor attitudes.

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After homicidal gulls killed an chaste Yorkshire terrier and a terrified tortoise last week, the country has gotten in mass scare – v X variable mogul Simon Cowell even having his dogs Squiddly and Diddly fitted because that gull-proof mini helmets.

Gulls have likewise been committing street-level crime, with one terrifed Bath resident phone call the police to complain the one had stolen his sandwich. David Cameron donated a £250k battle chest come Sussex council previously this year to deal with the airborne threat, but it watch like even the PM’s biggest weapons couldn’t protect against them.

In a speech made this week, he talked around the require for “a big conversation” around seagulls, warning that “we do have actually a problem”. But maybe the afternoon is being as well harsh on our feathered girlfriend – after ~ all, it’s us that save on feeding them.

Indeed the whole difficulty of greedy gulls originates from the truth that humans have actually been all-too happy to offer up their food to them in the past, and also now a the supervisory board in Wales has asserted that the feeding the seagulls is a spiritual right.

In an attempt to improve seagull/human relations, us spoke to the RSPB about what you should and should not be feeding them – and also whether her generosity could be leading to them to kill.

Fish

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Unsurprisingly, fish is the first port of contact for seagulls on the hunt for a meal. RSPB spokesman Graham Madge said: “When lock feeding normally the birds will certainly be feeding principally on fish.

“They don’t dive for it: lock either take it it from the surface or they paddle around and take fish and shellfish indigenous the tideline.”

“They have adhered to humans together we’ve gone out to sea come fish – they learn to monitor trawlers and also hang about at fish quays and also places prefer that.”

So if girlfriend ever discover yourself in or around the sea v an overabundance of raw fish and also you’re trying to find a dinner date, remainder assured that a friendly gull won’t be much away.

Bread

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A stalwart of bird feeders from all over, there’s naught technically wrong with providing a seagull a bite of your foot-long.

The trouble is, these birds don’t recognize the hazard of bread – and also we’re not just talking around all those sleek carbs.

Bird nut Graham says: “If they’re being fed ~ above a diet it is basically simply bread, you begin to see wellness problems.

“We see it with ducks, geese and swans – when they’re fed a constant diet that bread it way they’re not getting the nutrients they require from other sources of food.”

Better save some the the bread for yourself then.

Chips

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The same goes because that chips, a long-time favourite of gulls up and also down piers across the land.

Seagull professional Graham says: “These birds are extremely evolved however that development hasn’t led castle to have the ability to feed on chips exclusively.

“It’s the exact same with humans. There’s no injury in moderation however if your diet was consisting virtually exclusively of chips then there would certainly be wellness problems connected with it.”

And no, low-fat mei won’t make a difference.

Dogs

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If Simon Cowell’s miniature dog helmets aren’t enough to convince you, then us don’t recognize what is – seagulls room gunning for your dogs.

But bird enthusiast Graham insists the they’re no just searching for a four-legged feast. The said: “Our assumption would be that the bird would have actually been do the efforts to safeguard their young.

“When the young are around to leave the nest but can’t paris yet, they’ll often flutter down to street level and also turn up in gardens or in neighborhood streets.

“The parents space obviously quiet trying to protect their offspring, so they regard anything that viewpoints them too very closely as a threat – and they’ll resolve the situation.”

Ketamine

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Bird lovers were increase in eight this main after Brit traveler Joshua Greenwood filmed himself showing up to feed a ketamine-laced chip to a seagull.

Although unsure of the results the horse tranquilizer would have on a small seabird, Graham wasn’t all-too impressed through Greenwood’s antics, saying: “If the event did occur then clear it would be a situation of cruelty.”

In the wake of the video, RSPB north spokesman Tim Melling condemned Greenwood in The daily Mail: “Like v all drugs, their effects differ according to body size.

“If you give something come a baby, because that example, the effects would be destructive – and a gull is smaller sized than a baby.”

You heard it here first, folks.

Salt

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Of food Greenwood was defensive of his actions, telling us in an to exclude, interview: “It was simply salt, not ketamine.”

However RSPB spokesman Graham advises that this could still be problematic. He says: “It counts on the quantity of salt.

“Obviously gulls live in and also around salt water, so usually birds the are adjusted to a marine setting can manage high tons of salt.

“But why perform it? those the point? It appears futile and is perhaps something that can be harmful.

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“There space other methods to communicate with birds without verging top top cruelty.”

So following time you go to feeding a seagull, have care – it’s probably best to leaving them to execute their very own thing ~ all.