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Letter: Will Malcolm Save The Birds?

by John Tierney

Letter to Kilkenny Press editor

Dear Editor,

The song ‘Feed the Birds’ that featured in the Mary Poppins movie has been adopted as the anthem of the Irish shooting community under the title, ‘Shoot the birds’.

The target is the Wood Pigeon, a corpulent bird that is at home in the countryside, town parks and suburban gardens.

In Ireland the open (hunting) season on wood pigeon in theory runs from November to January.

Every year the relevant minister declares a derogation, allowing the bird to be shot at any time to “prevent serious damage” to crops.

As minister with oversight of the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) it will be Malcolm Noonan who will decide if the derogation will be renewed at the end of the month.

NPWS officials believe that scant evidence exists that show wood pigeons cause damage to crops and that the right to shoot these birds on ‘crop damage grounds’ is not parented by scientific research.

True to form the Irish shooting community is basing its killing programme against Irish wildlife on non-existent evidence that economic harm is been caused.

Furthermore, the Irish shooting community is suffering from a case of rule adherence shyness such is their urgency to shoot wood pigeons.

Not content with a hunting season where these shotgun junkies can legally blast wood pigeon out of the sky but now they demand to have the legal authority to use these birds as a live target whenever its casts its beady
eye over a hedge.

As the open season for shooting wood pigeons is based purely on entry to a hunting season list rather than bird conservation practice, to allow a killing extension into the breeding season ‘crop damage’ falsehood is gun
smoke conservation.

Minister Noonan recently stated that he was a committed vegetarian and animal right activist.

Based on this statement from the minster, to renew the wood pigeon slaughter derogation would mean his views are not worth tuppence.

Yours etc,

John Tierney
Campaigns Director
Association of Hunt Saboteurs
PO Box 4734
Dublin 1

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