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Wednesday, 1 December, 1999, 19:39 GMT
Pigeon lovers swoop on parliament
Pigeons Racing pigeon owners took their prized birds to parliament

A group of pigeon fanciers has swooped on the Scottish Parliament to appeal for action to protect their birds.

They have called on MSPs to support reform of the Wildlife and Countryside Act which would allow the culling of certain predators known to target their homing pigeons.

The enthusiasts allege thousands of their prized birds are killed by falcons and sparrowhawks each year.

Racing bird victims

Scotland has been viewed as home to more than half of the UK's peregrine falcons and pigeon racers have complained that newly replenished sparrowhawks and falcons killed about 70,000 racing birds in one year.

The Scottish Homing Union, which began lobbying MPs at Westminster, has now shifted part of its campaign to the new parliament.

It has already received backing from several MSPs who posed outside the parliament in Edinburgh with five feathered friends belonging to one fancier.

However, they have now appealed for wider support for changes to the law, which they said has so far failed to protect their birds.

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