No ban on people feeding birds, council confirms

Causing a flap: Gulls flock to the seafront beside Whiteabbey War Memorial as a man feeds them chips. INNT 11-514CON
Causing a flap: Gulls flock to the seafront beside Whiteabbey War Memorial as a man feeds them chips. INNT 11-514CON

NEWTOWNABBEY Borough Council has denied claims that its Environmental Health department has imposed a ban on people feeding wild birds along the seafront at Whiteabbey.

The council was responding to a ruffled resident, who has accused the local authority of “denying people the right to feed animals and look after them.”

Krystal Allen, who lives in the Whiteabbey area, contacted the Times this week explaining that the owner of a local fast food business who used to feed leftover chips to gulls on the seafront near the war memorial has been told by the council that he’s no longer allowed to do so.

Describing the situation as “health and safety gone mad”, she commented: “In Newtownabbey you are not allowed to feed the birds; it is against health and safety. I think that this is ridiculous; it is people’s basic right to feed animals and look after them.”

Responding to the woman’s claims, a council spokesperson confirmed that the fast food business had been written to about the practice in November last year, but denied the suggestion that Environmental Health Officers have banned people from feeding birds.

“The law requires food businesses to store and dispose of food and other waste in a manner in which it does not attract vermin and other pests,” she commented.

“Newtownabbey Borough Council has not banned the feeding of birds as this requirement is only applicable to food businesses.”

Read the full story in this week’s Times...