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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
Goose control advice is shared
Canada Geese
The birds had been harrasing visitors to the town
Advice on how to deal with problem numbers of Canada Geese is being shared at an international conference.

Stratford-upon-Avon is hosting the Geesepeace event for 50 delegates from across the UK and the United States.

The town has reduced its number of geese from 700 to 100 in less than three years through humane management.

Officials say birds had been destroying vegetation, harassing visitors and depositing half a ton of excrement on the river bank each day.

The Geesepeace programme, which is supported by the RSPCA, aims to stabilise the population of geese through birth control and promote responsible feeding of birds to discourage visiting Canada Geese.

Dog used to scare away geese in Stratford-upon-Avon
Dogs were used to encourage the birds to go back to their nests

Maureen Beckett, from UK Geesepeace, said sheep dogs were used to herd the birds and encourage them to go back to their own nesting sites.

"We start from the beginning of March oiling the eggs to prevent the eggs from hatching, and then as the season progresses we start to herd the geese away," she said.

Stratford-upon-Avon was the first town in the UK to try the programme, which has been used in the US.

Holly Hazard, from Geesepeace USA, praised the work that had been done.

"The leadership here has taken what was an environmental problem that communities across the UK and across the United States had been unable to solve and, using some techniques that we'd used in the United States, have been able to resolve their issues humanely," she said.

"Stratford is once again a beautiful place to walk along the river front."

SEE ALSO
Geese 'herded' from town's canals
16 Sep 05 |  Coventry/Warwickshire

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