WARNINGS are going up around Swansea city centre alerting shoppers and visitors they face a £75 fine for feeding the birds.
Swansea Council has joined forces with city centre businesses to launch a poster campaign which advises people about the perils of dropping food on the ground and attracting the attentions of pigeons and seagulls.
Litter enforcement officers can issue £75 fixed penalty notices to people who dump their unfinished snacks on the ground for gulls to peck at.
The council’s cabinet member for environment and transport Mark Thomas said: “Over the last year, since the introduction of littering enforcement and the Tidy Swansea campaign we’ve seen an improvement in the littering situation as a whole across the city.
“In the city centre there’s been a marked rise in the amount of cigarette stubs being put in bins and that’s led to bins needing to be emptied more frequently which is great news too.”
But he said birds were messing up the city centre.
“Gulls and pigeons are a real nuisance because of the way their droppings make a mess on shops, street furniture and — sometimes — lands on people too.
“There have even been cases where people have been attacked by gulls in the city centre for their snacks.
“That’s why we want people to feed the bins and not the birds this summer. It’ll discourage pigeons and gulls from coming into the city centre and it’ll improve the environment too.”
Swansea is not the first city to introduce fixed penalty notices for food littering or for feeding the birds.
Similar schemes are already in force at many seaside resorts because of the effect they have on tourists and on the environment.
Mr Thomas added: “The restrictions have also been introduced in popular destinations like the city of Bath as well.”
Russell Greenslade, Chief Executive of Swansea Business District (Bid) said: “We have a lot of food related businesses in the city centre and feedback from the business, large and small, has been that feeding the birds creates numerous issues for them and their customers such as the birds stealing food.
“They also leave a mess behind that impacts on the visitor experience and trading environment.”
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