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Save the Swanshurst Canada Geese!

This petition had 1,678 supporters

We the undersigned do not want Birmingham City Council to cull any birds at Swanshurst park or any other City Site. We urge the council to reduce conflicts of interest between park users by adopting non-lethal methods of site management.

Threats to parks and public safety come from activities by humans, dogs, various birds and other animals. It is easy to use geese as a scapegoat, so that councillors can gain political points by being seen to be doing something about a complex issue.

Springfield councillor Habib Rehman says he has had complaints about the geese ‘pecking’ people, but a Spokesman from Birmingham City Council said they “are not aware of any complaints”. Either way, killing geese is a disproportionate response to being ‘pecked’.

After receiving only 8 complaints in 5 years Sandwell council used the ‘pest control’ company PESTEX to carry out a secret cull of geese in 2014. When questioned they lied and said they ‘relocated’ the geese, but a Freedom of Information request later proved that they were  killed.

To gain a licence, Birmingham City Council “must show it has made efforts to deter the birds using humane methods”. There is no evidence of this so far.

Martin Straker Welds, Councillor for Moseley and Kings Heath, is ‘a member or in a position of general control or management’ at the RSPB, who say that “Canada Geese are considered a pest species and can be culled under licence”. This is clearly a conflict of interest.

Last November a goose in the park was shot through the head with a crossbow. The RSPCA called it a “disgusting act of deliberate cruelty” and reminded the public that “It is a criminal offence to injure wild birds under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and if someone is found guilty they face penalties of up to six months in prison and/or a £5,000 fine.”

Why won’t the cullers face these penalties if it goes ahead? Cruelty to animals is so often excused and achieved through licenced culls, where important Wildlife Acts are put to one side as a result of misconceptions that are spread about [articular species, as well as vested interests and point-scoring by politicians.

Contact details for the aforementioned and other local councillors can be found on birmingham(dot)gov(dot)uk/councillors. It seems like Moseley and Kings Heath councillor Lisa Trickett will also have a say on this cull, as she is also the Council Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment.

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