Wales: Fines for Feeding Seagulls Deemed Offensive to Hindus and Jews

Fines for Feeding Seagulls

Plans of cracking down on people who feed seagulls, an activity that has led to vicious attacks on pedestrians and animals by the birds in the past, have been stalled in order to not offend the religious sentiments of Hindus and Jews.

Council members of the Welsh seaside resort Llandudno wanted to issue fines for people who feed the birds, since they have grown notorious for attacking visitors on the beach and along the coast during the holiday season. However, the council members were advised by local authorities that the fines may just disregard certain people's right to feed the birds in question, as their respective religions encourage them to take care of all animals.

The odd advice came to light after Jim Jones, head of tourism and leisure at Conwy Council sent out a tweet regarding the same.

“We looked at the issue of fines, but were told it’s the right to feed birds within some religions!” he said.

While it was not made clear where Jones received the advice from or which religions would be offended if the fines were to be issued, some sources pointed to the possibility that Hindus and Jews were the two religious groups that Llandudno was concerned about.
However, Christianity too, encourages adherents to take care of animals.

For example Deuteronomy 22:6 advises the faithful, “If you come across a bird’s nest beside the road, either in a tree or on the ground, and the mother is sitting on the young or on the eggs, do not take the mother with the young.”

Seagulls have been known to cause nuisance in the area and subsequently hit the headlines as well. As reported earlier, a spate of extremely aggressive attacks by the birds managed to cost at least one pet dog his life and one concert pianist his wellbeing. Additionally, postmen in the region have complained about not being able to complete their rounds because of the birds attacking them. As a matter of fact, the problem gained traction in such a short period of time that British Prime Minister David Cameron too, said he would have to deliberate a ‘big conversation’ about what action should be taken against the birds.

While seagulls are protected by law and thus cannot be culled, hundreds of gull eggs have been smashed around the country so as to stop the birds from proliferating. Last month, a mother who feared for the safety of her toddlers, after seagulls pecked to death her pet Terrier in her back garden, was warned by authorities that harming the birds would qualify as a criminal offence.

“I think this is a very difficult subject and I think it is a dangerous one for the Prime Minister to dive in and come up with an instant answer with the issues of the protection of seagulls, whether there is a need for a cull, what should be done about eggs and nests and the rest of it,” Cameron said. “I think a big conversation needs to happen about this and frankly the people we need to listen to are people who really understand this issue in Cornwall, and the potential effects it is having.”

Dai Evans, 57, from Llandudno called the seagulls a complete menace.

“I can’t believe they’re being protected by human rights. It seems like nothing can be done to get rid of these birds – it’s political correctness gone mad,” he said.

Photo Credits: Daily Post

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