§ 86. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the Minister of Agriculture whether he is now taking steps to reduce the number of pigeons and starlings in the country and particularly in Trafalgar Square and other public places in London; what recommendations he now proposes to give to local authorities; and what steps are being taken to see that the most humane methods are adopted.
§ Sir T. Dugdale
As regards starlings, I cannot at present add to the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Croydon, East (Sir H. Williams) on 22nd May. As regards pigeons, in the rural areas the problem is to reduce excessive numbers of wood pigeons. Rural occupiers are entitled and urged to do this by legal methods, of which shooting is the most effective. In the built-up areas the problem is the congregation of pigeons which are either truants from captivity or their progeny. The local authorities have various powers for dealing with any nuisance that may be caused, and I think they are generally aware of suitable methods of control, but my Department will always be willing to advise them on the most effective and humane methods to use.