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Mottingham rail station's pooing pigeon cull is 'cruel' and 'pointless'
ANIMAL charities have reacted furiously over plans to slaughter Mottingham station’s pigeon population which have been persistently pooing on commuters.
It comes after a station platform vendor says the birds are ruining her trade as customers dodge the birds’ bombs which have landed in cups of coffee and pose a health and safety risk.
Southeastern, which is responsible for cleaning the platforms, are planning a cull to get rid of the pigeons before fitting meshing to prevent any more roosting.
But animal charities say the move is "cruel" "unnecessary" and likely to worsen the problem which could be avoided by using non-lethal deterrents such as anti-perching spikes.
Speaking of the ongoing problem, owner of Shell’s Kiosk Michelle Hill, said: "I am losing customers.
"Three people got pooed on this morning.
"It is getting beyond a joke now.
"It is like they are having a party up on the roof."
A spokeswoman for Southeastern claims the company has tried various non-lethal methods to deter them including a special gel applied to the beams but to no avail.
But director of the Pigeon Control Advisory Service, which provides advice on humane, non-lethal bird control, Emma Haskell said:"Culling is a complete and utter waste of time.
"It isn’t going to reduce their problem, it will probably make things 10 times worse. The birds will go into breeding overdrive to fill the void in the flock, especially if they are not going to address the issue of available food.
"The only way to stop the pigeons soiling is to put physical deterrents such as spikes or wire mesh.
"It goes without saying culling is cruel and completely unnecessary. The only beneficiary would be the pest control."
She went on to say culling is more expensive than other options and could only be used legally as a last resort if all other options could be proved to have failed.
And RSPCA press officer Diane Roberts added: "The RSPCA is opposed to the killing of wildlife where it is possible to humanely deter them instead.
"A build-up of bird numbers in urban environments is normally a result of attraction to food, and preventing access to food, using anti-roost and proofing measures are normally the best ways of preventing the issues in the long-term."
She went on to say bird netting was also effective but it is vital it is correctly installed and maintained to prevent animals becoming trapped or injured.
A Southeastern spokeswoman said: "Pigeons nesting at the station are making a huge mess and are an issue for customers, tenants and staff.
"We’ve tried all sorts of methods to move them on, including trialling a special gel to the beams which is supposed to deter them, but they’re homing pigeons and no matter what we do they keep coming back.
"We will now have to engage professional pest control services to clear the area above the shop so we can install some mesh to prevent any birds nesting in there. Our priority is to provide a clean environment for our passengers and the businesses at the station."
Did you know...?
Pigeons stem from rock doves which still live on cliff tops in wild places in Scotland. Pigeons were originally domesticated and then released into the wild where they adapted to nest on places such as rooftops.
Alternatives to culling pigeons include:
- Anti-roosting spikes
- Bird netting
- Contraceptive pill
- A bird of prey such as a hawk
- Sonic devices
- Repellent gels
-Electric shock systems
Methods used to kill pigeons include:
- Cage-trapping where birds are baited into a cage before being killed.
What do you think should be done to help the problem?
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