Blowing the whistle on pigeon pests with Villa

By on 25/03/2010 in News

Small Heath pupils unveil winning design

Small Heath pupils unveil winning design

Local children are leading the fight against pigeon pests as part of Birmingham City Council's schools 'Litter Charter' campaign.

Led by Environmental Health at Birmingham City Council and supported by Aston Villa FC, pupils are spreading the word about litter and the perils of pigeon feeding.

The latest competition in the campaign involved designing a new poster that will then be reproduced on the side of refuse lorries, to raise awareness amongst residents about how dropping food to feed pigeons encourages rodents.

The competition was won by Year 9 pupil Aliyah Hussain, (13) from Small Heath School and Sixth Form Centre. Aliyah and her class mates were rewarded with an education day at Villa Park. Second prize went to Niyran Gill (11), a year 5 pupil at St Mary's C of E Primary School in Handsworth. Niyran and his classmates will also receive an education day at Villa Park.

Lynne Tandy, Education & Environment officer at Birmingham City Council, comments:

“The council gets a number of complaints about feral pigeons, who depend largely on the general public for their food. The Warden Service and Regulatory Services Pest Control Team have been out and about around local parks to raise awareness. This problem is growing and getting the children involved in campaigns like this is a really effective way of getting the message back to their parents and the rest of the city.”

Duncan Riddle, Head of Community at Aston Villa FC, adds:

“The club understands the impact that people can have on the environment and how it is becoming increasingly vital to be more proactive in order to protect our planet.  We are happy to support this campaign and to help spread the word of the environmental awareness to all the fans.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Environmental/ Education Officer Lynne Tandy on 0121 303 9928/ 07766924970.

Notes to Editors

The Regulatory Services Department at Birmingham City Council does not treat for pigeons. However, officers of the department are available to give free advice on pigeon control and on the steps which can be taken to discourage the congregation of pigeons on buildings.

Much of the damage caused by feral pigeons arises from their infestation of buildings, food stores, lofts in schools, factories and the private home.

The acidic droppings of feral pigeons react with the stonework of buildings and monuments causing erosion of the surface. Accumulations of pigeon droppings can become infested with mites and insects which are pests of stored food products.

Feral pigeons rely mainly on spillage at food premises or on scraps, bread, cakes and bird seed given by the public. The birds normally feed in flocks and have become highly efficient in taking food when it is left unattended, patiently waiting nearby until the area is undisturbed.

Some feral pigeons have been shown to carry organisms which cause Salmonellosis and Ornithosis (a mild form of Psittacosis); although there are proven cases of man catching these diseases from direct or indirect contact with feral pigeons, such risks are slight.

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