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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 07:25 GMT
Court threat over Trafalgar pigeons
Pigeons in Trafalgar Square
Up to 4,000 pigeons flock to the feeding sessions
People who defy the Mayor of London by feeding pigeons in Trafalgar Square could face prosecution.

Ken Livingstone wants to bring in a by-law which would leave people who scatter bird seed in the area at risk of being taken to court.

He believes the pigeons are a health hazard and create a mess in the square.

The mayor blames the pigeons' corrosive droppings for causing 140,000 of damage to Nelson's Column and the square.

Birds 'over-fed'

Mr Livingstone said: "The incessant feeding of the pigeons is deeply unpleasant for visitors to the square and the pigeon faeces causes contamination and damage and costs us hundreds of thousands of pounds in clean-up costs.

"The real problem is not the pigeons themselves, but the vandals who stupidly continue to over-feed the birds despite their promise to reduce the amount of feed slowly."

Two years ago licensed feed sellers were banned from the square in an attempt to reduce the numbers of pigeons.

People are employed to scare off the birds with hawks and megaphones and a vacuum device is used to suck up the seeds.

But volunteers continue to turn up every day to scatter seeds, attracting an estimated 4,000 pigeons to the square.


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19 Nov 02 | England
19 Jan 01 | UK
31 Oct 00 | Politics
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