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Last Updated: Thursday October 08 2009 11:36 GMT

Law to sort out problem parakeets

Newsround's Hayley

Hayley hunts for parakeets

Parakeets might look cute but they have become a massive pest in the UK, killing other birds and wildlife.

The birds are easy to spot with bright red beaks and vivid green feathers.

The numbers have got so out of hand that the people who look after wildlife in this country reckon it's OK to kill the small parrots.

From January 2010 it will be legal for landowners to shoot and kill parakeets if they are creating a problem to people, other birds or animals.

Parakeets are originally from more exotic places like the Himalayas, in northern India.

Parakeets on the Isle of Dogs
Margaret sent us this pic of parakeets from her garden in the Isle of Dogs

But there are now around 44,000 parakeets in Britain with nine out of 10 of them living in London and their population is growing at a really fast rate.

Shooting worries

There are lots of stories about how these far-travelled birds came to live in this country. Some people even think they stowed away here during the filming of a movie back in 1951.

Are parakeets a problem for you?
Parakeet

Conservation groups are worried about these new rules and say this doesn't mean that anyone can just go out and shoot birds in the park or the street.

It has to be decided by the local council that the birds are causing a problem to humans or other animals before anyone can harm them.