Petition calls on PM to halt plans for pigeon cull in Ipswich
PUBLISHED: 20:16 11 November 2018 | UPDATED: 06:28 12 November 2018
A petition has called on Ipswich's MP and the Prime Minister to intervene on plans for a pigeon cull on the town's Waterfront.
The petition was launched after Associated British Ports (ABP) informed nearby residents of a controlled killing planned for Sunday, November 18, between 10am and 1pm.
ABP said the move was intended to prevent the pigeon population from endangering the UK’s food supply chain.
But a petition for MP Sandy Martin and PM Theresa May to step in looks set to reach 2,500 signatures just days after being launched by Brandon Orton at change.org.
The petition states: “The reason for killing pigeons is due to ‘public safety reasons’, so that it does not endanger the UK’s food supply chain.
“However, there have been many local residents and members of the public who have stated that they have never had problems with birds and have not seen many on the waterfront.”
ABP assured residents the culling would be completed quickly and humanely by trained professionals.
A spokesman said: “ABP is part of the UK’s food supply chain, and as such, we adhere to strict regulations regarding the control of pests at the Port of Ipswich.
“Measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease, stop serious damage to food and preserve public health and safety.
“We are committed to safeguarding the integrity of the UK’s food supply.”
The cull will be carried out by shooting – the quickest and most humane method, said ABP – and by trained professionals under licenses issued by appropriate government agencies.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), land owners and people given permission by authorities or the Environment Agency are granted a general licence to cull certain wild birds.
The licence can only be used to preserve public health or to ensure public safety – not to simply cull birds that considered to be a nuisance.
ABP bosses said they had explored other avenues for managing the pigeon population.
A spokesman added: “We have examined all the possibilities in managing the pigeon population and we are now fulfilling our legal obligations in the most effective and humane way possible. These actions are necessary to protect the UK public.”