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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 January 2007, 15:43 GMT
Pigeon loft used to control flock
Pigeons in Camberley town centre feed and nest in the loft
A council has been praised for putting up a loft for shopping centre pigeons and controlling their numbers by removing their eggs.

Eggs in the Camberley pigeon loft are collected each day, the loft is cleaned and sick or injured birds are removed.

The Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS) said the Surrey Heath Council project led the way for other councils.

A PiCAS spokesman said many councils culled birds, even though killing them had been shown to increase flock sizes.

PiCAS director Guy Merchant said the council had "adopted a bold and forward thinking approach to dealing with this age-old problem and we have nothing but praise for its attitude and tenacity".

'Age-old problem'

The humane control programme - which can reduce flock size by 95% in five years - was planned in 2001 by the council, an animal welfare group, the shopping centre, and PiCAS.

It had already been used in towns and cities across the world, but had not been used in the UK, according to PiCAS.

The loft was put up in 2003 and pigeon numbers have remained stable for the past three years, the council said.

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