LNER to meet pigeon rescue group after outcry over the shooting of birds
The train operator that manages York station says it will meet with a pigeon rescue group to discuss concerns about a cull of the birds.
York Stringfoot Pigeon Rescue says it’s against the shooting of the birds which it says has resulted in some not being killed outright.
They want LNER to look at other methods to keep the population in check.
A petition has been started to ask LNER to stop killing the pigeons and so far it has had over a thousand signatures.
They say shooting the birds, which can be a health and safety issue at the station, is cruel. Spokesperson, Samantha Crick from York Stringfoot Pigeon Rescue, has challenged LNER to look at things like creating an Artificial Nesting Site.
These have been used at some stations in Europe and have proved to be a success. It’s an area which is set up where there are pigeon population issues and it’s basically a large dovecote.
“You can manage the pigeon population by feeding the pigeons in this area and also you can also remove eggs from nests and replaced with fake ones.
“It’s a kind of pigeon birth control system,” she added.
York Stringfoot Pigeon Rescue says it has seen examples of birds that have not been killed after being shot.
Samantha Crick said: “We found a bird still alive and took it to the vet. It looked like it had gunshot wounds. After an X-ray the vet confirmed that there was a bullet in the pigeon and the injuries were so severe that she had to be put to sleep.”
What LNER says about the pigeons
LNER has been in communication with York Stringfoot Pigeon Rescue and said this: “The number of pigeons already in the station areas has been deemed to cause public and staff safety issues on the site.
“For example, they foul on the platform edge causing slip hazards and the droppings are also linked to disease risks such as histoplasmosis, cryptococcosis and psittacosis.
“Not proactively addressing the issues presented would expose us to litigation under public and workplace safety legislation.”
Histoplasmosis causes mild flu-like symptoms that appear between 3 and 17 days after exposure to the fungus.
Cryptococcosis is a fungal infection spread by pigeon droppings.
Psittacosis is an infection of birds caused by the bacterium C. psittaci.
The disease has been described in many species of birds, particularly in parrots, parakeets, budgerigars and cockatiels. Other commonly affected birds include pigeons and doves. Ducks and turkeys may also be affected, but chickens less frequently.
Infections in birds are important as they represent a biological hazard to human health.