A BARNSTAPLE bakery owner has called for people who feed pigeons and seagulls in the town centre to be fined.
Graham Principe, who runs East and West Bakery on Butchers Row, has called for a system similar to the one brought in by Plymouth City Council last week and employed in other areas of the country, to be brought to the town centre – which could see people fined for feeding the birds in public spaces.
The measures being introduced in Plymouth include posters around the city warning people not to feed the gulls, and asking cafes and restaurants with outside eating areas to quickly remove empty plates and consider using umbrellas to shield against swooping seagulls.
Mr Principe, a member of Barnstaple Town Centre Management (TCM), said: “There should be a separate by-law. People feed the pigeons and think it’s lovely, but in practise the seagulls come in and take a lot of the food.
“I feel we need some sort of campaign to educate people on this followed by legislation making it illegal to feed pigeons and make the fine substantial.
“I’ve had seagulls flying into my shop before and had to get hold of them physically to get them out again.
“We’ve never had so many seagulls in this town and now’s the time they are fledging too, so they are very protective of their young and actively foraging for food.
“The idea is not to stop people feeding the birds, but to get them feeding them in the right environment, in the parks or by the sea.”