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29/09/06
Let Us Back on the Square, Say Pigeon Feeders
- Mayor accused of reneging on humane-reduction scheme as over a hundred birds die

Let Us Back on the Square, Say Pigeon FeedersTHOUSANDS of pigeons have left Trafalgar Square in the last few years, but London's Mayor has overseen the deaths of many others.

Ken Livingstone's scheme to reduce the numbers of pigeons on the square has come at the cost of 120 dead, thanks to his decision to employ hawks. The hawks were supposed to just scare away their would-be prey, but instead follow their instincts and go for the kill.

The mass slaughter could have been avoided and pigeon numbers reduced by following a humane feed-reduction programme, but the Mayor, says animal welfare group Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons, has reneged on a deal to let them feed pigeons on the square.

"The idea was gradually to reduce the amount of feed, so as to reduce the numbers of pigeons humanely," said a spokesperson for Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons.

"But now we've been forced to feed them from the North Terrace, which is controlled by Westminster Council, unlike the square proper."

STSP say pigeon numbers have already fallen from around 4,000 to the current 1,500, but that the latter figure drops to a few hundred during the day once most of the pigeons have taken their 7.30am feed and moved on. Bearing in mind the size of the square, several hundred pigeons would form a stable community based on a once-a-day feed.

Having access to the square would make the feeding reduction programme more viable and avoid the need for hawking. The STSP says it is still hopeful the Mayor and the Greater London Authority will allow them back on the square.

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