Pigeon cull call in Blackburn town centre

WAITING IN WINGS Pigeons roosting on Blackburn’s vacant old market

WAITING IN WINGS Pigeons roosting on Blackburn’s vacant old market

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

THESE are some of the hundreds of pigeons which have taken up roosting on Blackburn’s vacant old market who will be looking for a new home when the buildings are demolished early next year.

Town centre shopkeepers fear the disturbed birds will swoop elsewhere, spread dirt and disease, and one of their leaders wants action taken to reduce their population.

Chamber of Trade chairman Tony Duckworth and Tory planning spokesman Alan Cottam want a repeat of the cull in Blackburn’s central area which saw more than 1,000 pigeons shot in 1996/1997 as part of the borough’s clean-up campaign.

However, council leaders see no reason to take such drastic action now.

Since the old market closed in June 2011, more and more pigeons have been flocking to the vacant buildings as our picture shows.

However, Blackburn with Darwen Council is now seeking planning permission to knock down the empty shell, clearing the site for redevelopment, possibly with a supermarket.

This has concerned Mr Duckworth, who said town centre traders were concerned what would happened when the birds were forced to move on.

He said: “Pigeons are flying vermin, which spread dirt and disease.

“Shopkeepers in the town are now very concerned about what happens when the old market is knocked down and where the birds go next.

“We don’t want them flying onto other buildings and spreading dirt and droppings.

“There are too many and it is harming the borough’s efforts to clean up Blackburn centre.

“It makes the streets dirty and slippy. People do not like it.

“It sound cruel, but we need to cull the pigeons to get the numbers down, as we do with rats.

“They are both vermin and spread dirt, and disease and mess.”

Coun Cottam said: “There are too many pigeons in the town centre.

“When the old market is demolished, they will just move elsewhere.

“We need to have a cull of the pigeons. People don’t want them all over the town centre.”

But the council has no current plans for a cull.

Coun Faryad Hussain, executive member for environmental improvement and sustainability, said: “We keep an eye on the pigeon population, and don’t feel there is a particular problem at this time.”

Comments (16)

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1:59pm Wed 7 Nov 12

mudshark says...

ive come across these pigeons a few times in town.. they need to be killed humanly and quickly
ive come across these pigeons a few times in town.. they need to be killed humanly and quickly mudshark
  • Score: 0

2:01pm Wed 7 Nov 12

sean_brfc says...

Get 'em culled.
Get 'em culled. sean_brfc
  • Score: 1

2:06pm Wed 7 Nov 12

manin8lack says...

ABOUT TIME THEY DID SOMETING LIKE THIS THE TOWN IS FILTHY. A HEALTH HAZARD.........
ABOUT TIME THEY DID SOMETING LIKE THIS THE TOWN IS FILTHY. A HEALTH HAZARD......... manin8lack
  • Score: -1

2:22pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Anthony A Cooper says...

Although they would not eradicate them, a pair of Peregrine Falcons would soon keep feral pigeon numbers under control. Peregrines are now fairly common urban nesters; all they need is an artificial crag or cliff face. If the building has no ledges, the birds can be encouraged by the provision of a suitable wooden nesting platform, as at Derby cathedral.

A very useful booklet is available via the RSPB entitled 'Peregrine Falcons, provision of artificial nest sites on built structures', with advice for conservation organisations, local authorities and developers. I would suggest that Blackburn with Darwen council obtain a copy.
Although they would not eradicate them, a pair of Peregrine Falcons would soon keep feral pigeon numbers under control. Peregrines are now fairly common urban nesters; all they need is an artificial crag or cliff face. If the building has no ledges, the birds can be encouraged by the provision of a suitable wooden nesting platform, as at Derby cathedral. A very useful booklet is available via the RSPB entitled 'Peregrine Falcons, provision of artificial nest sites on built structures', with advice for conservation organisations, local authorities and developers. I would suggest that Blackburn with Darwen council obtain a copy. Anthony A Cooper
  • Score: 9

2:40pm Wed 7 Nov 12

chadders2000 says...

I think it will take more than getting rid of some birds to make Blackburn town centre look good, its bloody awful.
I think it will take more than getting rid of some birds to make Blackburn town centre look good, its bloody awful. chadders2000
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Wed 7 Nov 12

camalot says...

A B52 bomber flying over Blackburn dropping it's payload will get rid of it's infestation .
A B52 bomber flying over Blackburn dropping it's payload will get rid of it's infestation . camalot
  • Score: 1

4:07pm Wed 7 Nov 12

ghost of sceptic says...

Anthony A Cooper wrote:
Although they would not eradicate them, a pair of Peregrine Falcons would soon keep feral pigeon numbers under control. Peregrines are now fairly common urban nesters; all they need is an artificial crag or cliff face. If the building has no ledges, the birds can be encouraged by the provision of a suitable wooden nesting platform, as at Derby cathedral. A very useful booklet is available via the RSPB entitled 'Peregrine Falcons, provision of artificial nest sites on built structures', with advice for conservation organisations, local authorities and developers. I would suggest that Blackburn with Darwen council obtain a copy.
yes but if you were a peregrine would you want to live in Blackburn. Interesting how they comment on trying to clean up the centre! what about the rest of Blackburn nothing but a litter strewn shithole. Before any of the pro Blackburn brigade start i had the misfortune of living on the outskirts about 8 years ago thank god i got away.
[quote][p][bold]Anthony A Cooper[/bold] wrote: Although they would not eradicate them, a pair of Peregrine Falcons would soon keep feral pigeon numbers under control. Peregrines are now fairly common urban nesters; all they need is an artificial crag or cliff face. If the building has no ledges, the birds can be encouraged by the provision of a suitable wooden nesting platform, as at Derby cathedral. A very useful booklet is available via the RSPB entitled 'Peregrine Falcons, provision of artificial nest sites on built structures', with advice for conservation organisations, local authorities and developers. I would suggest that Blackburn with Darwen council obtain a copy.[/p][/quote]yes but if you were a peregrine would you want to live in Blackburn. Interesting how they comment on trying to clean up the centre! what about the rest of Blackburn nothing but a litter strewn shithole. Before any of the pro Blackburn brigade start i had the misfortune of living on the outskirts about 8 years ago thank god i got away. ghost of sceptic
  • Score: 3

5:44pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Panther33 says...

The Peregrines that nest at India mill in Darwen seem to have sorted the Racing Pigeon out, seen them plenty of times attacking.
The Peregrines that nest at India mill in Darwen seem to have sorted the Racing Pigeon out, seen them plenty of times attacking. Panther33
  • Score: -1

5:45pm Wed 7 Nov 12

useyourhead says...

leave them alone, folk will rely on them next year when food prices soar.
leave them alone, folk will rely on them next year when food prices soar. useyourhead
  • Score: 1

6:38pm Wed 7 Nov 12

cathedral citi says...

All it needs is a business minded person to open a market stall nearby, allow the cull to proceed, and master the art of convincing the local population of the delicious, rich meat that is pigeon.... Pigeon pie is great!

Try it. You WILL love it!
All it needs is a business minded person to open a market stall nearby, allow the cull to proceed, and master the art of convincing the local population of the delicious, rich meat that is pigeon.... Pigeon pie is great! Try it. You WILL love it! cathedral citi
  • Score: -1

6:57pm Wed 7 Nov 12

real betis hotpot says...

What comes first - dirt and uncleanliness or vermin? Do vermin cause dirt and disease or do they just spread dirt and disease that is already there and caused by human vermin? Maybe if the town centre was tidy and clean in the first place then there would be fewer vermin such as rats and pigeons. So really people need to be cleaner and then there would be less dirt and disease for any vermin to spread. Blackburn town centre is a complete sh*t hole - litter, beer bottles, sick, pizza boxes - the list could go on, it's all there, I've seen it all. Also pasty crumbs can play a huge role in sustaining any burgeoning pigeon population, so maybe if people had less of a penchant for high cholesterol, pastry based snacks from various high street bakers then there would be an indirect impact on the pigeon population as it is starved of the crumbs it is so reliant on.
What comes first - dirt and uncleanliness or vermin? Do vermin cause dirt and disease or do they just spread dirt and disease that is already there and caused by human vermin? Maybe if the town centre was tidy and clean in the first place then there would be fewer vermin such as rats and pigeons. So really people need to be cleaner and then there would be less dirt and disease for any vermin to spread. Blackburn town centre is a complete sh*t hole - litter, beer bottles, sick, pizza boxes - the list could go on, it's all there, I've seen it all. Also pasty crumbs can play a huge role in sustaining any burgeoning pigeon population, so maybe if people had less of a penchant for high cholesterol, pastry based snacks from various high street bakers then there would be an indirect impact on the pigeon population as it is starved of the crumbs it is so reliant on. real betis hotpot
  • Score: 2

8:59pm Wed 7 Nov 12

Mothernature says...

Pigeons have always used the market to roost & breed. Only because it is now empty & unused has it attracted more pigeons. Not the pigeons fault. LEAVE THEM ALONE.
Pigeons have always used the market to roost & breed. Only because it is now empty & unused has it attracted more pigeons. Not the pigeons fault. LEAVE THEM ALONE. Mothernature
  • Score: 2

9:56pm Wed 7 Nov 12

elmo maniac says...

Stop animal cruelty...
Stop animal cruelty... elmo maniac
  • Score: 2

5:05pm Thu 8 Nov 12

bburngal says...

Because of oldies feeding them.
Because of oldies feeding them. bburngal
  • Score: 0

5:25pm Thu 8 Nov 12

ghost of sceptic says...

real betis hotpot wrote:
What comes first - dirt and uncleanliness or vermin? Do vermin cause dirt and disease or do they just spread dirt and disease that is already there and caused by human vermin? Maybe if the town centre was tidy and clean in the first place then there would be fewer vermin such as rats and pigeons. So really people need to be cleaner and then there would be less dirt and disease for any vermin to spread. Blackburn town centre is a complete sh*t hole - litter, beer bottles, sick, pizza boxes - the list could go on, it's all there, I've seen it all. Also pasty crumbs can play a huge role in sustaining any burgeoning pigeon population, so maybe if people had less of a penchant for high cholesterol, pastry based snacks from various high street bakers then there would be an indirect impact on the pigeon population as it is starved of the crumbs it is so reliant on.
Good point nail on the head. My feelings are its not only pigeons that are vermin in blackburn there are plenty of other contributors.
[quote][p][bold]real betis hotpot[/bold] wrote: What comes first - dirt and uncleanliness or vermin? Do vermin cause dirt and disease or do they just spread dirt and disease that is already there and caused by human vermin? Maybe if the town centre was tidy and clean in the first place then there would be fewer vermin such as rats and pigeons. So really people need to be cleaner and then there would be less dirt and disease for any vermin to spread. Blackburn town centre is a complete sh*t hole - litter, beer bottles, sick, pizza boxes - the list could go on, it's all there, I've seen it all. Also pasty crumbs can play a huge role in sustaining any burgeoning pigeon population, so maybe if people had less of a penchant for high cholesterol, pastry based snacks from various high street bakers then there would be an indirect impact on the pigeon population as it is starved of the crumbs it is so reliant on.[/p][/quote]Good point nail on the head. My feelings are its not only pigeons that are vermin in blackburn there are plenty of other contributors. ghost of sceptic
  • Score: 0

11:35am Sat 10 Nov 12

Claudio Becco says...

elmo maniac wrote:
Stop animal cruelty...
Nicarbazin is the way: sterilizes them without any collateral damage. Ovistop is the only contraceptive for pigeons patented in europe.
[quote][p][bold]elmo maniac[/bold] wrote: Stop animal cruelty...[/p][/quote]Nicarbazin is the way: sterilizes them without any collateral damage. Ovistop is the only contraceptive for pigeons patented in europe. Claudio Becco
  • Score: 0

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