Plea to stop feeding the ducks

IT'S a request that some may think is “quackers” - but people in a Suffolk town have been told not to feed the ducks.Stowmarket Town Council's call for a ban - saying dropping bread for the ducks causes a “serious health and safety hazard” - has divided the community.

IT'S a request that some may think is “quackers” - but people in a Suffolk town have been told not to feed the ducks.

Stowmarket Town Council's call for a ban - saying dropping bread for the ducks causes a “serious health and safety hazard” - has divided the community.

Chrissie Day, environmental town warden with Stowmarket Town Council, said t

he duck population was getting out of control.


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She said: “Well meaning people are feeding them on bread, scraps and bird food.

“This not only attracts more ducks into the town, it also leads them to breed more and this means that there are now more ducks than the ponds and river can cope with.

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“The level of duck waste in the ponds makes the water more and more dirty and has a detrimental effect on other pond life.”

“The mess caused by the ducks and any uneaten food causes a serious health and safety hazard, particularly as it boosts the rat population.”

She added that bread is not the natural food for wild ducks and that they should live off the food that is naturally present in a pond or river.

Chris Durdin, a spokesman for the RSPB, said: “Parish and town councils are struggling with the problem of too many ducks in East Anglia, which can cause health and safety issues.

“Any pond with a large population of ducks that is higher than it would naturally hold will tend to reduce the pond's value for other wildlife, vegetation will be damaged, and it will be over fertilized, with the water's quality deteriorating.

“But it is terribly difficult and there is no easy solution here. Who has not been out with their small children to feed the ducks? And bread is not unhealthy, it is loosely based on grain, and that is ok for them. Bread is a pretty good source of food for them.”

n. Do you think people should be banned from feeding the ducks? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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