Royal Society for the Protection of Birds warns people in Ilfracombe not to offer food to seagulls
TONY Whitehead, from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said the general advice was to avoid places where gulls lay their chicks and not to give them food.
"The birds are only aggressive when they have got chicks which is a small part of the year. The parents are particularly protective.
"Our advice is it won't last forever. Also be aware of what they are doing. They will give you warning."
Mr Whitehead also said the problem with gulls stealing food often stemmed from people waving it around in front of the birds.
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"What happens there is people are walking up and down holding things very obviously in the air like pasties and chips and it is almost as if they are offering them to the gulls," he added.
"If you can eat in a cafe that has covers then do so but certainly don't go holding the food up in the air.
"Also follow by-laws and don't feed them."
Mr Whitehead said some culls have taken place, but mainly around airfields.
He said any culling had to be done under a licence and "not just because they are a bit of a nuisance."
He added: "Nicking a pasty is not under the same remit as bringing down an airliner."