David Cameron on seagulls: We need to have a 'big conversation' about aggressive birds

Gulls recently pecked to death Roo, a Yorkshire terrier from Newquay in Cornwall

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Indy Politics

He’s axed funding into aggressive seagulls but David Cameron wants to have a "big conversation" about what to do with the birds after the public outcry that ensued when they killed a pet dog.

Funding for the research project was axed as being too unimportant in the wake of the Tories’ election victory but the outcry caused when gulls pecked to death Roo, a Yorkshire terrier from Newquay in Cornwall, has prompted the Prime Minister to say he wanted action taken.

“I think a big conversation needs to happen about this and, frankly, I think the people we need to listen to are people who really understand this issue in Cornwall and the potential effect it is having,” he told BBC Radio Cornwall.

While regarded by many as “rats with wings”, seagulls and their nests are legally protected despite being seen as pests in many seaside towns.

Some species of gull, including the herring gull, have suffered a decline in overall population in recent years  but have seen numbers rise in some towns.

The RSPB recongised that seagulls are regarded as a nuisance in urban areas but warned against any “knee-jerk” action against them.

West Country MPs Oliver Colvile, Steve Double and Scott Mann are among those calling for laws protecting seagulls to be reconsidered.