‘Pigeons are war heroes!’ Huge row erupts as expert DEFENDS town centre menace

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Peterborough Council is “considering options” on how to tackle pigeon excrement in the city centre. The news followed a local raging against the state of the city centre, calling it a “disgrace”.

Denise Theophilus, of the Foundation For Feathered Friends, fired back at claims the birds needed “culling”, as locals claimed.

She said: “When you look back at the incredible services that pigeons offered us in both World Wars, it is difficult to reconcile the antagonistic views held by some people.

“Whilst they complain of their numbers now, the numbers were useful indeed as 250,000 of them were deployed by the UK Government in World War Two alone.

“In fact, the Air Ministry maintained an actual Pigeon Section with a Pigeon Policy Committee making the decisions regarding the military usage of the birds.

“The PDSA Dicken Medal for outstanding gallantry was awarded 54 times and 32 of those were to pigeons. The medal is the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.”

Ms Theophilus continued to note that “being of no use any more, the pigeons are referred to by some as ‘rats with wings’”.

She continued: “In several towns and cities in the UK, people moan about them and trap them and shoot and gas them or wring their necks, all methods of culling.

“Is this a fitting end to a noble breed that served us well when we needed them?”

Noting the locals who called for pigeons to be “culled”, she referenced Kevin Newell, of Humane Wildlife Solutions, who said: “Culling is the most short-lived approach as new birds can populate the new territory within days.

“It is known that culling pigeons does not work and In fact, in some cases, it increases the population.

“As for disease, you can find these in lots of wild animals and on cats and dogs, so if our pets are not a risk to us then neither are the pigeons .”

Concluding her stanch defence of the avian excreters, Ms Theophilus said Peterborough “would be well advised to obtain outside advice” and urged them “the kinder and more sustainable route”.

It followed Peterborough Telegraph reader Trudy May calling for a cull on the creatures over the state of the city centre.

She said: “It’s absolutely disgusting that this can be left for people to walk into.

“Bird poo is being walked on then in and out of the shops and up and down the streets. This can cause serious diseases, such as Salmonella, Cryptococcus, Psittacosis and Histoplasmosis.

“These are very harmful to humans when breathed in. Do Peterborough Environmental Health Team really want to be responsible to harming its citizens’ health?

“The pigeons need culling as they have got completely out of hand and our streets seriously need disinfection.”


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Peterborough City Council are looking at ways to keep Bridge Street clean, but have not revealed what options are being explored.

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson, said: “We are currently exploring a number of options aimed at making the Bridge Street area cleaner and more inviting for people who live or visit our city.”

When asked by the Peterborough Telegraph what options were being explored, the spokesperson said ‘it was too early to give further details.”

The spokesperson added that areas around benches in Bridge Street, Long Causeway and Cathedral Square are cleaned every morning from Monday to Friday.

It comes after a man was spotted riding a tram in Manchester with a pigeon on his shoulder.

A mystery man boarded a Metrolink tram heading between Chorlton and Manchester city centre with his feathered friend in tow.

One eye-witness who got in touch with The Manc said that people “barely batted an eyelid” at the strange sight.

They added: “I saw a video of him the other day when he goes in a shop he puts the pigeon down and it waits for him like a f****** dog.”

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