Richard Moore: Itching for a no fly zone at home

"All things bright and beautiful ... all creatures great and small ... all things wise and wonderful the Lord God made them all."

As I write this I'm picturing choirs of kiddies at schools around the world singing the uplifting and charming hymn written by William Henry Monk.

Now I know we are supposed to love all creatures but, for the life of me, there are some that I cannot bring myself to appreciate let alone like.

Flies for example. Why on Earth did God put those infuriatingly pesky little varmints on this planet. Unless he had the patent for fly repellent ...

And how about mosquitoes? Blinking heck is there anything more terrifying than being woken in the night by that evil sounding bzzzzzzzzzz and no matter how many covers or blankets or sheets you pull over yourself you'll always have several blinking, itchy bites on your backside come morning.<inline type="recurring-inline" id="1003" align="outside" enforce-sites="no" />

Speaking of itching ... fleas. Why would you create fleas? Unless you wanted to keep the population of the Middle Ages in check by sending a plague through every hundred years or so.

And while I appreciate and value most birds - small and dainty, big and vultury, colourful and loud - one type I really do not like is the seagull.

They are flying garbage disposal units and I get fed up with incessant squawking and bickering over food scraps.

It doesn't matter where you are. Trying to have a peaceful stroll along the beach becomes less appealing when you have to pass infestations of blasted seagulls fighting over a fish head.

The same on wharves and jetties. You can guarantee there will be some beady-eyed gull waiting to bother you for a scrap of something.

They are noisy, verminous and happily poo anywhere.

Having said all that, you will see why I have the utmost sympathy for some residents in 14th Ave who are besieged by a regular flock of up to 50 seagulls that gather to be fed by a neighbour.

The revolting creatures gather to be hand fed by someone who regards them as friends and who has, to date, ignored pleas from his neighbours to stop the activity.

The birds poo on cars, washing, the houses and walkways creating what the residents fear is a health hazard. A solo mother with a young baby was forced to move from her home because of dangers presented for her crawling infant.

Overseas studies show such excrement increases the risks of e.coli contamination, salmonella and botulism.

Aside from the mess there is the noise. The residents are woken by the creatures' squawks from 7am every day.

Now having done the right thing and been polite about the matter, the residents then went to the authorities with a petition - signed by 32 people - to deal with the matter. The Bay of Plenty health board sent a letter back saying there was no evidence of a health problem because the person had cleaned up the bird poo.

A petition was also sent to Mayor Stuart Crosby who said staff had investigated and there wasn't the evidence to proceed under the Health Act at that time.

The mayor added there was no law to stop people feeding wild birds in a residential area.

One of the residents noted with some irony that it seems okay for council to cull Papamoa ducks and black swans in Tauranga Harbour but it won't move to stop the nuisance and health risks of huge numbers of seagulls.

Now the North Shore city council in Auckland introduced a by-law that banned people regularly feeding wild birds that may create "a noise or health nuisance". The bylaw specifically named seagulls as being a problem bird.

I would have thought that if a council can limit noise from late-night parties, or prevent worksites operating too early in the morning, then surely it can find some way to deal with an inconsiderate neighbour who makes the lives of dozens of others less enjoyable.

Or is that asking too much?

To the New South Wales State of Origin team I just want to say how unlucky you were in the recent series against the toxic Cane Toads.

It is hard enough to take on a side of 13 Queensland players, without adding in a few extra unofficial guys on the team.

By unofficial I mean the officials.

This series was marred by appalling decisions in every game by the referees that gave Queensland an advantage almost every time a contentious decision came up.

Lift your game refs, or we may as well not play the series.

If I was a Blues executive, I would call for a boycott until the men with the whistle and the video replay device actually open both of their eyes!

- Bay of Plenty Times

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