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Debates and questions

S5W-18126: Richard Lochhead (Moray)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 8 August 2018

To ask the Scottish Government what powers local authorities have to tackle seagull populations on the grounds of health and safety or other factors that affect the quality of life for residents and communities, and what its position is on increasing these powers.

Answered by: Mairi Gougeon 30 August 2018

Local authorities are eligible to use Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) General Licences granted under Section 16(1)(i)&(j) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. General Licence No. 3/2018 authorises the killing and taking of certain wild birds, including some species of gulls, for the purpose of preserving public health and safety and for the purpose of preventing the spread of disease. Details of the General Licence can be found on the SNH website.

For situations not covered by General Licences local authorities can apply to SNH for individual licences to control gulls where they are posing a threat to public health or safety.

The Scottish Government does not intend to introduce further powers at this time.