A town’s plans to export its poo-bombing pigeons to a seaside resort 250 miles away has got feathers flying.
High street shoppers are fed up after years of being blasted by the bothersome birds in Hungerford, Berkshire.
But the message from plain talking Whitby folk came through loud and clear: “You can stuff your pigeons – we don’t want them!”
Mum-of-three Dee Jessop, 32, who lives with husband Mike and their three children in a semi near Whitby town centre, said: “We don’t want Hungerford’s pigeons – we’ve got enough problems here with our own seagulls who mess everywhere and try to eat holidaymakers’ sandwiches.
“They say seagulls are like flying rats – it sounds like we’d be importing a load more if we take these pigeons too, why choose us?”
Hungerford town centre has had a pigeon problem for years with around 200 living under a nearby railway bridge.
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Hungerford deputy mayor Keith Knight welcomed the offer to move them up north, saying: “Apparently, they wouldn’t fly back here from such a location.
“We’ve tried other alternatives without any progress. We’re going round in circles.”
Town clerk Clare Barnes, added: “A bird lover offered to collect the pigeons for free so they are not culled, and take them to Whitby Wildlife charity where they will live in an aviary before being released on a farm.”
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But Michael King, Whitby town clerk, said “The town council hasn’t been approached and doesn’t have a position on it or the necessary ecological knowledge to know the potential impact of introducing additional pigeons to an established population in Whitby.
“I’ve not heard of pigeons being relocated in this way before.
“In this part of the world, people do like to ship pigeons around, but usually so they can fly home again.
“To be honest, pigeons aren’t much of a problem here – but the gulls certainly are. Any pigeon problem fades into insignificance to the gulls.
“We do have a wildlife rescue centre here but I’m not aware that they would be able to cope, either.”
Whitby Wildlife said it had taken on pigeons from beseiged towns in the past, and checks they are are disease-free.