A CUMBRIAN council forced to deny it had plans to terminate seagulls by using drones has issued a plea to the public about feeding the birds.

Bosses at Copeland Borough Council last week made clear they had no plans to launch an aerial assault on the eggs of the flying menaces, despite a local councillor's calls for them to discuss the prospect.

But they have now produced a poster calling on the public not to feed seagulls - amid concerns their poo is becoming an eyesore.

The issue was first raised in Whitehaven.

Mike Starkie, elected mayor for Copeland, said: “We realise seagulls, whilst a defining feature of any seaside town, do cause problems.

“The seagulls are a protected species and therefore it is illegal to remove nests and eggs or to kill these birds.

 “We have taken advice from experts in this field, including the RSPB to help reduce the problems.

"Everyone can play their part by eliminating the birds’ food source and not feeding the seagulls or drop food outside. 

“We have produced the posters which any resident or business owner can download, print off and display in their windows to remind visitors and locals not to feed the seagulls."

The posters show a bird feasting on a mound of discarded chips and other detritus.

They are released just weeks after Barrow resident Elaine Shuttleworth raised fears for her dog's life, saying the town's gulls had tried to attack it on a number of occasions.

Mrs Shuttleworth called for immediate action, saying she had become scared to leave her house with pooch, Molly.

Meanwhile, animal charity PETA has called for humane methods of deterring birds.

The organisation called for anyone straying into seagull territory to wear a hoodie and urged the use of special green lasers to deter the birds in areas where preventative measure were being taken.