Pesky pigeon cul proposals draw a flock of emails

Here are a number of the many emails received in respect of the suggested cull of pigeons made by the town council in a bid to rid Market Rasen of its pesky pigeons.

They have not been printed in the Rasen Mail because of space limitations, the fact they did not contain the required name and address, were generated by campaigning groups and because of the sheer volume.

All of them stated the following,

Culls are only legal if all non-lethal methods have been tried and found to have failed otherwise they fall foul of the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Councils should instead contact PICAS who are the world's leading experts on pigeon control and offer scientifically proven non-lethal methods of controlling pigeons numbers. They have successfully worked with many local authorities and private companies across the country.

PiCAS details are web. www.picasuk.com Phone 02392 583540. Fax: 02392 510287

* I understand that a pigeon cull is being planned in your area as mentioned in your newspaper. I would like you to also let it be known your readers that shooting pigeons does not solve the problem – it merely causes birds to suffer for no reason (those that do not die out right are left to die a terrible death and their young to starve). Numbers of pigeons return to the same levels as before within weeks.

I would be grateful if you could let me know that you plan to publish the above details so that your local readership and council is aware the facts and can make the right and humane decision.

Kind regards, Julie Webb.

* Hello there Jason, I'm sure you will have had various letters of complaint about the killing of pigeons following the article in your paper on the 3rd February. I am shocked that members of the GREEN party are happy to go ahead with this cull. I don't like it, and I know lots of others who don't, Some of the reasons are as follows with a link to those who may be able to provide a cruelty free method todissuade the pigeons: I think there needs to a be a new article in the paper about why so many are apposed to this cull, especially when the ideas come from so called GREEN people!

"The Green Party believes that animals have the right to live in safety, without fear or pain caused by human exploitation. We seek a more peaceful world, where all life is respected and all cruelty challenged. "

Do they not even follow their own policies as the one above?

Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a

garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control, who get paid for the job!

Michelle Bradford

* I have been alerted to the article in the paper and to the proposed pigeon cull intended in Market Rasen . I have looked at the PICAS website. I found this interesting to read and convincingregarding the alternative methods which have beenadopted and which have proved to be far more successful than culling andare farmore humane. I have posted below the link to the particular web page link where examples and studies have shown that alternative methods to those proposed are workable.

Building lofts and removal of eggs and replacing these reduced the number of pigeons whereas killing them did not. Aside from the distress caused to both birds, their offspring and human observers I would urge that this culling be reconsidered in the light of alternative procedures being used. Further attention should be drawn to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 regarding the legaility of culling.

We should not forget the service that these birds gave to man at the time of need.More than most birds they are almost pets and notpests.

Pamela Rose

* Hello Jason please see the email we have sent to the West Lindsey Council

Dear Mr Periam

As a national and international animal protection group in the UK we are disgusted and appalled on hearing the news that there is a proposed pigeon cull in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire.

We believe that this is not only barbaric buttotally unacceptable and westrongly object. We urge the council to please contact PICAS who are the world's leading experts on pigeon control and whooffer scientifically proven non-lethal methods of controlling pigeon numbers.They have successfully worked with many local authorities and private companies across the country. PICAS details are - website.www.picasuk.com Phone: 02392 583540. Fax: 02392 510287.

Not only are we concerned about the unnecessary killing of these pigeons, we are also deeply concerned about the consequences that could arise for humans living in and around the area of the cull due to the poisons thatmay beconsidered for use. Alternatively, if shooting is considered, this is not only inhumane due to the likelihood of pigeons being maimed and suffering an agonising and lingering death but this would also be putting out a very negative message to the general public, particularly the younger generation -that it is considered acceptable to kill anything that is considered to be a nuisance!

Aside from this, a cull would only temporarily reduce the numbers of pigeonsso the situation is going to arise again and again, is the council going to recurrently mass- kill pigeons on a regular basis?

We are living in the 21st century and are supposedly a civilized societyand a considered nation of animal lovers, isn't it about time we affirmed this and moved on from this primitive behaviour by endeavouring toseek ways of living with nature harmoniously?

May we politelyremind you that pigeons were used in the last war as vitalmessage carriers and literally saved countless lives, it is wholly immoral to honour their relatives in this way by killing them.

Please do all you can to stop this cull and contact Picas for advice on more humane ways of dealing with the problem.

Many thanks

Helen Stevens

South West Animal Protection team UK

*

* Councillors, Please seriously reconsider your plans to shoot pigeons in your town. This would surely be most distressing to anyone seeing birds dying in the streets and lead children to believe that it is acceptable to shoot birds and animals. Please consult PICAS for an ethical and far more lasting solution.

The following points are very important:

Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control.

Mavis Petrie

* Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely

being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a

garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a

method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control.

Jeweljjw, by email.

* Sir

I am totally appalled at the proposal to shoot pigeons in Mrket Rasen. I beleive this to be unecessary and inhumane. Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a

garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a

method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a

method of control.

Brenda Greaves

* Hello,

Re: Suggested pigeon cull

We are very much concerned about the recent bad publicity regarding you. We like pigeons and even if we did not like them we would not feel right to be nasty towards them. It is irresponsible to suggest culling wildlife and birds.

Did you know pigeons were responsible for the victory against Germany in World War II because they carried messages when there was no other way to send telegraphs? Thousands of lives were saved because of the pigeons. You do not have to believe me, just check on your history. Okay, so today's street pigeon is only a far descendent of a war hero but it is still one of God's creatures that lives on this earth. It may not be serving you a purpose but should not be treated as disposable either. We have to show some restraint and at least respect other life forms to a minimum. Why not try to find a way to deal with them with compassion? T

Thank you for your attention and we all hope you are going to stop this because you know you can do much better!

Mici, John, Claire, Robert, Wendy and Michael

* Dear Sir/Madam,

I see two councillors are proposing a pigeon cull. Firstly, I object to killing these birds when humane procedure exist to keep number down. The use of the word "vermin" by Cllr. Padley shows what contempt he has for wildlife.

Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely

being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a

garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a

method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a

method of control.

M. Williams,

1 Tapestry Close,

Sutton SM2 6TD

* As Queen is equal to Country, and animal is a kingdom, and all crimes are paid - "Well Sinbad, I think there is a battle to be won.!" Lisa Everton.

* I was absolutely horrified about the proposed cull of the pigeons in Market Masen as per outlined in your paper dated Tuesday 3rd February and proposed by Councillors Steve Bunny and Chris Padley. I would like to voice my concern on this inhumane way of dealing with the problem. If they propose to shoot the birds it means many birds are not properly killed and lying injured and in pain or just put in the garbage bag alive. Any young would be left to starve and to a horrendous death. I would also like to point out that culls are only legal if all non-lethal methods have been tried and found to have failed otherwise they fall foul of the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

There is many people who will be very concerned about this cruelty. Pigeons are so maligned by everybody and it is getting worse - they do not kill people or stab anybody should the councils not be more concerned about our personal safety, lighting and our council tax bills etc. The only winners in this are the pest control people who suggest this type of culling as a method of control which is completely ill advised.

Lynn

* Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely

being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a

garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a

method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a

method of control.

STTSP supporter Queenie Pigeon

37 Bulwer St

Toronto ON

m5t1a1

* To whom it may concern,

"It's as if life had said: 'I am going to send you into a world of cruelty, I shall make you sensitive to pain, fear, and heat, cold, hunger and starvation. In this world of cruelty, I shall make you defenseless. In addition I shall strike you dumb'. This is the kind of world that animals are born into." – Grace Johnson

I would like to express my objection to theculling of pigeons. It is wrong to cause deliberate pain, suffering and malicious death to helpless birds. Pigeons are actually gentle and trusting birds. They do not cause harm to any other animals and only try to go about their day looking for morsels of food. They do not destroy things like rodents or attack other animals. It is callous to suggest to declare war on defenseless birds instead of trying to find a humane way to remove them.

Why not suggest contacting PICAS on 02392 583540 instead to use humane ways of dealing with pigeons. Please find some compassion in your heart for other living beings. Humans are not the only living creatures to feel pain and distress. It is irresponsible to suggest and promote cruelty.

F. Slane

* Dear Sir,

I am emailing to express my extreme disgust in the proposed plans to cull the pigeons of Market Rasen.

Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a garbage bag still alive. I think this is so cruel and absolutely should not be allowed to happen. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control.

I believe that if the press support the many people opposing this plan then maybe we can stop the council going ahead with this.

Lynsey Connnelly

* Dear Mr Hippisley, i am writing to express my concerns regarding the culling of pigeons in Market Rasen.

My understanding is that this is to be carried out with guns. Unless the "shooters" consider themselves something akin to crack-shots at the OK Coral, then i would assume that many of the birds will not be killed outright, but, moreover, will be injured.

This is cruel and unacceptable.

I would think that amore appropriate course of action would be to engage the services of a professional and competent organisation to control the pigeon numbers.Fiona Haley

* Dear Sir, I have just finished reading the recent article concerning Pigeons. In the interests of brevity I will just say the solution suggested, and in danger of being implemented, shows a total absence of knowledge about pigeons, whether they areviewed as a pest, vermin, or the contrary.

Culling will certainly cause suffering, will not rid the town of 'the problem' and the only ones likely to benefit will be the Pest Control company hired to do the work. More than likely the same Pest Control company will assure all interested parties their methods work, well they are hardly likely to say otherwise are they? I would suggest instead of just spending money on temporary and barbaric measures, some or better yet,ALL members of the Council do their homework, together with a little research. Killing birds will ultimately bring back more pigeons, controlling the breading of pigeons not only eliminates suffering it is humane and ensures no one becomes upset. London in its day has also implemented actions they assumed to be solutions, bridges were netted with pigeons still roosting inside, Hawks used at considerable cost, and at no extra cost the bloody act of a Hawk taking and killing pigeons was witnessed by tourists/children. The only successful work I have heard of which has produced a win, win, win solution has been that undertaken by Picas for the pigeons at Nottingham City Hospital. I have written WIN three times as those not wanting the pigeons around ultimately had their way, the pigeons themselves were not brutalized, given a slow and lingering death etc, AND those that manage to find some space in their hearts for the hope that animals do not suffer, were not caused distress either. A CLEAR WIN BY EVEN THE MOST RELUCTANT OF BOOK KEEPERS

The debate as to whether pigeons are a nuisance or how inaccurate the term vermin is when applying it to them could rage forever, instead of entering into this as I stated earlier it would be a good idea for the Councilors to do some research before hurling tax payers money at short term,cruelty for no good reasonfixes.

I do not reside in your town, I am not affiliated to PICAS in any way, I am however tired, saddened and disgusted by mans ability to always find a totally inhumane option when faced with an apparent 'problem'.

Wendy Dore Sutton

* culling is CRUEL. pigeons were our heros in the war, please be kind. Patricia Hickey

* Dear Sir, I have heard that your councillors are agreeing a cull of pigeons from a railway bridge in your town. Firstly, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that pigeons are NOT legally classed as vermin. It is totally absurd and disgraceful that in this day and age Man seeks to eradicate any creature just because it is in our way. As an English woman I was brought up to be kind to all living creatures and have fed the birds-including pigeons-since a child. I have never caught any thing from them, nor have I ever met or heard of anyone catching an illness from them. The problem is easily solved, just wait until they have moved off with their young then cover the structure in question with netting. Killing them is just cruel and nasty and at the end of the day would only be a short term solution as new pigeons would move in. This whole pigeon hatred that seems to be sweeping the country is anchored in so much propaganda and urban myth. These birds, although messy are very intelligent and gentle and after all are only doing what birds do. Putting up netting would be the end of your problem and no need for any killing. Simple.

Mrs Nikolic,34 Trafalgar Road,Wimbledon,London SW19 1HR.

* Dear Sirs,

I am appalled at Councilors Steve Bunny and Chris Padley'sidea of shooting the local pigeons. This is totally unnecessary when there are organisations like PiCAS that can control pigeons in a non- lethal way. Often the birds do not die instantly, but slowly in pain, and the young could be left in the cold to starve.The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 states that the killing of these birds should be a last resort after other methods of control have been used, which is not the case here. In Grimsby a few years ago some Councilor had the bright idea of killing off the pigeons outside the Freshney Place shopping centre, which they did, and deeply upset a lot of local residents in the process.Within weeks the number of pigeons were back up again, so their efforts were futile.

The Councilors should contact Picas or a similar organisation and stop lining the pockets of the men that want the job of shooting the poor birds.

Debra Barker

* I was very upset regarding the above titled recent article suggesting pigeon culling as a good solution.

My family, friends and myself would never consider this an appropriate action and would look down on any business or publication considering such a drastic measure to hurt innocent birds that are trying to survive in a harsh world. Yes, sir, it is a hard life being a bird! No comfortable place to roost, have to look hard to find a few crumbs of food, put up with all the weather elements and then some people turn up to torture and kill you!!!!

We as humans should at the very least show some regard for other animals. Dogs and cats are not the only animals we should care about. You personally might hate pigeons and birds but there is no need to share your own lack of compassion elsewhere.

There are humane solutions available - why not promote those instead. Where is your sense of responsibility?

Emily & family

* I am writing with regards to your article on February 3, 2009. The practice to cull pigeons is ineffective and cruel and I am surprised that you do not instead try to promote humane methods of pigeon control. As a wise person once said "a little information is a dangerous thing." It isgood to know things but it is superior to be well informed in the subject being suggested.

To cause suffering and cruel death to any living being is totally inhumane. You probably see them as merely birds but all living creatures feel "pain" and distress and starvation and all the elements that lead to a slow and unpleasant death. It is wrong to condemn birds to a cruel death and insensitive on your partpromote such a practice.

Furthermore, everybody does not share your view that cruelty to wildlife is acceptable and therefore it is also extremely distressing and unpleasant for other people who care aboutbirds to witness the despair of the pigeons. Those who love all creatures great and small are completely put off by your format of reporting.

Please try to be responsible.

Michelle Jay

* It is a mistake to think that culling Market Rasen's pigeons is an "appropriate" way of reducing their numbers, as Coun. Steve Bunney is quoted saying in your newspaper. The only reason he might have said so would be that he had not investigated the facts of pigeon control--in which case, his comments are worse than a mistake.

Aside from the needless suffering that inevitably goes along with a cull, it is well established that culling does not effectively reduce the pigeons' numbers. Fewer birds means more food and space per bird; more food means more breeding, and more birds immigrating to eat the extra food and occupy the extra space. Short of exterminating all pigeons the continent over, killing pigeons will not get rid of them.

Culling Market Rasen's pigeons would be stupid as well as cruel. Roger Clarke

* In the mid 1960's Dr R.K. Murton and his colleagues carried out a study on the effectiveness control of street pigeons by lethal methods in Salford docks Manchester (Ecological studies of the feral pigeon Columbia Livia 1969).

9,000 pigeons had to be killed over three years to reduce a potential population of 2600 birds to one of 1300.

Cynthia Roberts

* Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely

being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a

garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a

method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock

and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a

method of control.

Anna Madams

Market Masen

* To Mr. Hippisley:

I am writing to protest the planned cull of Market Rasen's pigeons as I read about it in your paper on 3 February. Counselor Bunny is incorrect in saying that "the measure would actually resolve the problem". Not only is such the measure cruel and unnecessary, it is not effective if one actually intends to rid the area of pigeons.

Pigeons are attracted by human refuse and their breeding cycles are determined by how much food is available. When there is less food, they breed once a year, and when there is more, they breed twice or even three times. If you remove a number of the pigeons, those remaining will begin to breed even more often than they would otherwise--after all, there will suddenly be more garbage per pigeon. (Even if you killed every pigeon, new ones would arrive from other places to breed similarly.) As a result, you will end up at least temporarily with more pigeons than you began with. In the very least, they will replenish their original numbers within only a few years (pigeons can mate by six months of age and their eggs hatch in only 18-20 days) and you will have to cull them again.

Conversely, if you remove the garbage and refuse that the pigeons enjoy, their numbers will begin to drop in response to the lack of food. They will either breed less or they will go elsewhere.

Counselor Padley is short-sighted and foolish in believing that there is "(no] solution other than to regularly reduce their numbers to control the vermin", since cities such as Basel, Switzerland, and Augsberg, Germany have proven otherwise. Their humane methods of controlling pigeon population included a public relations campaign to educate people about the negative aspects of feeding pigeons and a concentrated attempt to reduce available rubbish on the streets, among other tactics. Other cities around the world have begun to emulate these humane and effective methods of population control with positive results.

I urge Market Rasen to learn more about these kinder, more effective options.

Thank you for your time, Rebecca Gindin-Clarke

* I'm writing regarding the proposed pigeon cull in Market Rasen.

I don't think the cull will solve the problem. Shooting pigeons, as well as being inhumane,

results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just

put in a garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a method of

control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock and within weeks numbers will

have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control.

Besides, culls are only legal if all non-lethal methods have been tried and found to have failed

otherwise they fall foul of the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Instead of planning a cull, the council should instead becontacting PICAS who are the world's

leading experts on pigeon control and offer scientifically proven non-lethal methods of

controlling pigeons numbers. They have successfully worked with many local authorities and private companies across the country.

Debbie Vaughan

* I am writing with regards to an article in the newspaper this week regarding the shooting of pigeons.

I do hope you will pass this message on to the relevant councellors who were quoted in the article.

Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels. The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control.

Gemma Laragy

* I am concerned to learn that there are still councils in the UK who consider that is is acceptable to cull pigeons as a method of control.

Shooting pigeons as well as being inhumane results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die or just put in a garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling as a mthod of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as a method of control and make a lot of money out of their propoganda.

Chris Foreman

* Dear Jason

As a lifelong Animal Welfare Supporter who also undertakes voluntary work for the RSPCA, I was horrified to have been contacted about the above topic and am writing to you (as well as the two rather misguided councillors named in your newspaper article) as before any decisions are made & action taken it is only right you should be informed of the following facts which you might wish to publish for consideration by your readers so they can make an informed choice when demanding action to reduce bird numbers.

Shooting pigeons, as well as being distasteful and inhumane in itself, results in many birds merely being injured rather than killed outright and left to die slowly or worse be just stuffed into a garbage bag whilst still alive and aware. Any young would be left to starve to death. Culling as a method of control is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock to yet more breeding activity (yes – this is nature's way!) and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels necessitating further action. It becomes a vicious circle, so as well as being heinously cruel is a waste of time and (let's have it right) public money.

The only winners here are the pest control people who suggest culling as an effective method of control. Ask yourself why this should be, especially in the current financial climate where companies are bound to try & sell themselves and their services – however ineffective they might actually be – in an effort to secure more work!

Network Rail (in this case) and/or Council representatives with similar problems generally would instead do better to contact PICAS

Thank you for taking the time to read this submission. And please note I do not have anything to gain from mentioning PiCAS as I actually work for the NHS! I do, however, feel it is the duty of every right-minded person (and I count myself amongst them) to speak out against unfairness and inhumanity once made aware of it

Janet Hurst

* Shooting pigeons, as well as being inhumane, results in many birds merely being injured, rather than killed outright, and left to die or just put in a garbage bag still alive. Any young would be left to starve. Culling, as a method of control, is useless. It serves to simply rejuvenate the flock, and within weeks numbers will have returned to at least pre-cull levels.

The only winners here are the pest control people, who suggest culling as a method of control.

JOHN NEWMAN, DAPHNE PALMER, SYLVIA CARSON & LIONEL CHILCOTT.