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Bird Pests

Volume 530: debated on Monday 12 July 1954

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asked the Minister of Agriculture for an estimate of the value of the damage done by wood-pigeons and other birds to crops during the past year.

It has been estimated that a wood-pigeon eats between 10s. and £1 worth of food a year. Other bird pests, on the average, probably do slightly less damage. It has not been found possible to form a more reliable estimate owing to the extremely varied diet of these birds. There is no reliable information of the numbers of wood-pigeons in the country; but there are very many and there is little doubt that their numbers have increased in recent years. Last winter some 1½ million wood-pigeons were killed in organised shoots and by individuals with half-price cartridges issued by the Ministry; but reports received this summer show that great damage is still being done by these birds.