Australia: Maybe Some Just Get a Kick Out of Animal Killing ? ! ?


Pigeon cull at silo site


12/08/2009 11:30:00 PM

PIGEONS might be dropping out of the sky around Port Lincoln but it is just part of an annual cull conducted by ABB Grain.

ABB has a procedure to control pigeons at all of its sites in South Australia and western Victoria, which is ongoing throughout the year.

The procedure includes deterring, trapping, storing or destroying pigeons in a way that minimises stress to the birds and also complies with guidelines set out by the RSPCA.

Port Lincoln RSPCA shelter manager Narelle Biddell said this latest cull involved poisoning the pigeons, which was considered humane, and generally the pigeons would die around the ABB site.

She said poison was put in the grain, which the birds ate and in turn euthanised them.

People should not be alarmed if they noticed a few dead pigeons around town she said, because the cull was controlled.

“Occasionally one bird might not eat enough grain and it will take a bit longer to die and it will fall somewhere else.”

Ms Biddell said this type of cull would continue until the end of the month.

A spokesperson for ABB Grain said pigeon control procedures put in place at the ABB site in Port Lincoln had proven effective.

The spokesperson said this was evidenced by the lack of pigeons in the town and ABB’s ongoing program of controlling flocks so they don’t become a nuisance.

“Trapping and precision shooting with air rifles are the preferred measure for controlling the pigeon population,” he said.

ABB had several other ways in which it minimised pigeon populations such as restricting roosting sites and maintaining good hygiene.



*** SAV Comment ***

Maybe some people just love killing animals and continue to learn nothing as a result !

If “ABB has a procedure to control pigeons”, then it is obviously not working if it has to be continually undertaken ! – we suggest that ABB need to carefully look at their practices of pigeon population control methods again.

Over the years, certain members of SAV have been very involved with attempts by councils, townships and cities to reduce the numbers of pigeons in their area.  We (pre-SAV) have worked with a superb Uk based organisation called PiCAS – the Pigeon Control Advisory Service.

PiCAS was orginally established by a man who became a great friend of Mark (SAV), a chap by the name of Guy Merchant.  Using Guys expert advice, back in the late 1990’s, Mark was able to take on and prevent the culling of pigeons by the Council in his own home town in Kent, England.

Deservedly, PiCAS has flourished over the following years to become the greatest pigeon control advisory service on the planet.  PiCAS is now divided into two prime operating sections:  PiCAS Uk and PiCAS International.

For detailed information about PiCAS International, which totally promotes humane, effective and sustainable bird control systems, please visit:

The PiCAS Uk site can be visited via the following link:

With reference to PiCAS, the following is taken from their site concerning lethal methods of bird control, which can be dangerous or even deadly to other animal species.

By working back in the 90’s with expert Guy, Mark learned many things about humane pigeon control; but the one that stood out was that by killing birds in an effort to reduce their numbers in an area, councils etc make the mistake of killing off only the weak and vulnerable birds.  The strong and fittest survive, those being the same birds which are able to reproduce most easily and produce more offspring, thus actually increasing the numbers of birds in any given area within a very short space of time.

Lethal bird control does not reduce bird numbers, it INCREASES them !!

This was proven by the City of Basel, Switzerland in the study undertaken by Weber and Haag.

In Basel between 1961-1985, approximately 100,000 pigeons were killed by the inspectors of Basel.  The measures had no long lasting effect on the population.  The result of the investigations found that killing pigeons only rejuvenates the flock and has no long term effect on population.

Scientific research* and research carried out by the PiCAS Group has proven, conclusively, that all lethal methods of pigeon control are totally ineffective in the medium and long-term reduction of pigeon numbers.  The same applies to the control of virtually every other species of wild bird.  In areas where lethal control operations have been carried out there will be seen to be an initial short-term reduction in numbers but, within a matter of weeks, pigeon numbers will have increased back to the pre-cull figure and in most cases will have exceeded it. This is because killing adult pigeons in a feeding flock favours younger birds that would otherwise have a poorer chance of survival. Many older non-breeding birds are removed during these culling operations and the younger healthy breeding stock remains in situ and thrives as a result.

* Regulation of the street pigeon in Basel by Daniel Haag-Wackernagel, 1992 

The main problem usually associated with pigeon population problems are ………… Humans.  They eat on the streets, throw down unwanted food (pies, bread, rolls, crumbs etc) – an open menu to hungry pigeons scouring any area for something nice to eat.

If you don’t want pigeons in your town or city, then start by getting humans to clean up their eating and waste disposal act !!


Lethal Bird Control (Culling)


The bird control services listed below are considered to be industry standard and are commonly recommended by commercial pest control contractors.


Poison Bait   Shooting
Cage Trapping   Bird of Prey   Case Study

Poison Bait

The use of poison bait (sometimes known as narcotic bait) is strictly controlled by DEFRA / Natural England in the UK and the criteria for its use is extremely strict.  A specific licence must be applied for in respect of each application and the only body that can approve and provide a licence is DEFRA or Natural England. Poison was used extensively throughout the UK in the 1960’s and 1970’s but due to the cruelty involved with its use licensing criteria became even stricter. Now it is rarely if ever used in the UK and Natural England confirmed to PiCAS UK, in late 2007, that few if any licences have been issued in the last 2-3 years. This is because the applicant must be able to demonstrate that the use of the poisoned bait will not cause unnecessary suffering to the target species. This is not possible, irrespective of how the poison is used.

The most common poison used for this purpose is a product called Avitrol, a poison which is used extensively in America. Even though America has extremely relaxed animal protection laws relative to the UK, its use is still highly controversial. Although the manufacturer suggests that the poison is a “chemical frightening agent” only, and that there will be “some mortality” associated with its use, in reality it is a mainstream poison that kills virtually every bird that takes the bait.

The target species is fed untreated grain in a secluded area for approximately 7 days and on the 8th day the untreated grain is substituted for grain treated with Avitrol. The client is told that the birds which have ingested the bait are then caught by the contractor and humanely killed; this is not the case. Once ingested the bait causes convulsions in the bird concerned and it dies a long and agonising death. The sight of a bird dying of Avitrol poisoning is a deeply distressing spectacle.

Not only does Avitrol kill the target species, it also has the potential for secondary poisoning. If a pigeon or gull that has been poisoned as part of a pest control operation is taken by a domestic cat or a protected bird of prey, the results can be lethal for the predator concerned.

A good example of this is in the

**************  city of Melbourne, Australia where two established breeding pairs of peregrine falcons were poisoned having taken a poisoned pigeon that had ingested a product such as Avitrol (the peregrine is the natural predator of the pigeon). There was public outcry when these much-loved birds (and their young in the nest) died.  **********************

This is the reality of poisons – they are indiscriminate. This barbaric method of control is inefficient and ineffective and should never be considered as a control option. Anybody that is offered this service by a pest control contractor should confirm that the contractor is bona fide and contact DEFRA or Natural England to confirm whether a licence application has been made.

There are serious legal implications for anyone found using poisons without a licence. Further information on the legality of lethal controls and where and when they can be used can be found on The Law page.

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