I've uncovered another disgusting bird cull - this time in the US...
So, it's 'name and shame' time again.... and today's award for most repulsive city goes to:-
Grand Island, Nebraska.....
which this week sanctioned the mass extermination of the city's Starling population by way of a slow acting poison called DRC-1339.
The toxin which is widely used in the US, causes a lingering death through uremic (kidney) damage and the slow congestion of major organs. It takes between 24 and 36 hours for the birds to die.
Observers have described seeing birds falling out of the sky in great numbers following its use.
DRC-1339, which is lethal to Starlings and Gulls is likely to prove fatal to many other species too (according to Wildearthguardians.org, the list of 'non-target species' killed by the poison in the US probably includes Savannah Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Meadowlarks, American Robins, Canada Geese, Mallards and many many more).
The city of Grand Island has warned residents who find dead Starlings to wear gloves and dispose of the birds 'in trash containers'.
According to a press release, the city authorities justified their action by claiming that "many residents have expressed concerns of noise and filth nuisances related to the starlings. But of most concern”, they say, “is the health nuisance caused by the droppings of the birds".
My heart sinks at the thought of many thousands of birds suffering a slow and painful death and all because of human intolerance of other species.
The fact that this story barely even made the news is a scandalous reflection on the apathetic attitudes of the vast majority towards wildlife.
The citizens of Grand Island, Nebraska will have to live with this murderous episode on their collective conscience.
But I think it is about time to enforce a total ban on the use of such potentially catastrophic methods of wildlife 'control' and to stop referring to any species as a 'pest' just to provide an excuse to eradicate them.
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