Thoughts on BOP from Les J. Parkinson & Other’s
Over the years, I like many more have written quite a bit about the BOP problem which does not get any better. Nearly all that is currently written has been in the press before so stay with me on this one. I think the only real way forward is to get our pigeons classed as livestock which, I believe the RPRA are trying to do, and what an achievement it would be for pigeon fanciers everywhere. We need those in a position to do so, to stand up and be counted, some are, but I think there are more who can also put their input forward.
The people who can help and no doubt some already are in one way or another, are people who run one loft races and pigeon studs, people who make a living out of pigeons, including myself. Pigeon racing is more than just a hobby/sport, it is a multi-million-pound business that is being attacked by the people who support and re-locate BOP. Via the RPRA we should have a coordinated effort to pressurise our MP’s even more than we have done so far, because our business is being affected by our racing pigeons being slaughtered on a grand scale.
How often do we lose pigeons and think they are no good, we have only lost the rubbish, that is not always the case, maybe some are but not all? BOP are fast flying killers; they are much faster than a racing pigeon so what chance do they have. In the wild it is a case of KILL or be KILLED but all types of birds that are smaller than the BOP have no chance of protecting themselves. Pigeon fanciers should have the right or chance to protect their pigeons. That is why it is important that we get pigeons classed as livestock, so that we can protect them. We watch a lot of nature programmes and the likes of Countryfile is in view every Sunday and they have very often mentioned BOP. We hear on these shows that there are millions of birds less than there were 20yrs ago, and the numbers are declining year after year, what can they expect. They say it is down to the increased human population who are forever taking more land up. Yes, that is going to affect the bird population but nowhere near as much as the increase in the numbers of BOP who all need feeding. We all know that we don’t have a Natural World anymore because there are too many do-gooders around who want to protect this and that, but in reality, they are doing more harm than good. People are the problem interfering with nature, putting boxes up for the BOP population to increase, places where, in a natural world you would not find them.
We live on the edge of the town and when I take the dog for a walk early morning, I hear the birds singing loud and clear. During these early morning walks’, I used to hear a woodpecker, but he has not been heard in recent weeks, I am now thinking he may have become a victim. However, birds are not singing in the numbers that they used to because their overall numbers are decreasing. Most people will probably hear them while lying in bed in a morning, especially in the breeding season when they are calling to nest, you don’t have to live in the country to hear them. And early in the morning the BOP are not about as they are later in the day.
I don’t know how many have seen a BOP catch a pigeon on the ground, it is not nice when they are your own pigeons. I was in the back-bedroom painting and as I looked at the pigeons they were looking skyward’ s, I then caught a glimpse of the same BOP high up in the sky. I watched it for a while, and it was coming down but not in my direction, so I thought the pigeons on the lawn were safe. Then suddenly, I caught site of the BOP to my left heading towards the garden. Before I could do anything, the BOP came over the 6ft fence to the left and grabbed a Dordin cock before he could move. Needless to say, by the time I got down and into the garden the pigeon was dead and as I opened the door the BOP flew away without the catch. I have only had two attacks in the garden, but they have killed on each occasion. I did watch helplessly one Sunday morning when a BOP took our young birds up and up and they looked like little dots in the sky. I shouted Elizabeth and together we watched the BOP go into the batch and they scattered in all directions. This was a lucky day because by the end of the it there was only one missing, they learnt a lesson that day. How many more fanciers have their young birds out and they think they have had a natural fly-away, that may not always be the case if a BOP has been chasing them, once they get their heads down they can end up anywhere.
I can understand why some people who live in or near the countryside breed more pigeons, they are feeding an ever-increasing BOP population.
Now then why did I get on this subject, oh yes, I had the following letter drop through the letter-box.
“I write the B.O.P problem nothing else so when you get over the shock of seeing this address, I hope you will read the following and I hope it will help. (No problem with any address). I write because at last someone, yourself has commented upon a point that may be worth investigating the B.O.P nest boxes that are being put up are no help and I think I have read somewhere that these BOP are not in a natural environment so we could have a better chance in doing something about them. I believe that you will have to look into which wildlife act makes it illegal to introduce species into an environment that is not its natural environment. Some years ago, the R S P B stated this themselves when objecting to the idea of re introducing the Eagle Owl and we know why. If this act is still in place, then it can be used for the removal of illegal boxes/platforms and claims for loss, so it is something that is worth looking into further. I really do hope that this helps, and you don't mind me writing to you for this reason. Keep up the good work with the articles I once wrote under the name Seth quite several years ago. Best Wishes”
Tony Barnet sent me an email a while ago about this problem, he has had communications with an MP and here is a letter that he sent to him.
Many thanks for your response to my complaint, a copy of which was forwarded on to me by my MP Owen Paterson however, I fear you have missed the point I was raising and that could be the reason you have quoted section 16 of the 1981 wildlife and countryside act.
Section 16 is there to give "licence" for scientific studies, for the protection of wild species, not for capture in any shape or form, to prevent harm by destruction, to keep what nature intended from interference, but not from natural disasters such as where flora and fauna are taken by lawful means by commoners animals or by wild herbivores, or wild creatures taken by carnivores of whatever description.
My concerns and that of the general public's is the destruction by raptors that are not wild which is explained by the 1981 countryside and wildlife act, may I draw your attention to Chapter 69 of the 1981 wildlife and countryside act [F635 (6) for the purposes, the definition of "wild bird" of this section 27(6) is to be read as not including any bird which is shown to have been bred in captivity, not to include birds bred and released into the wild under licence (game birds, song birds hard or soft bills)however I will state that to release into the wild raptors that are or will cause nuisance to livestock should be outlawed.
27 (6) Sale etc of live or dead wild birds, eggs etc. sell's or exposes for sale, or has in his possession or transport for the purpose of sale, any wild bird included in part 1 of section 3 or an egg of a wild bird or any such part of such an egg or, publish’ s or causes to be published any advertisement likely to be understood as conveying that he buys or sells or intends to buy or sell any of those things to expose any wild bird in competition, shall be guilty of an offence.
As a Minister you will have at hand all, the relevant guidelines, my complaint to DEFRA was the taking of wild birds to imprison for a breeding program, the eggs for incubation and chicks to rear for release and for the purpose of gaining (public monies, social standing, and tax relief ) to further the existence of the fate accompli set in motion by the RSPB.
May I also draw your attention to your letter regarding section 16 on the licenses in which you are trying to infer that the fancy "might" take wild raptors to protect captive bred racing pigeons, what a strange comment, captive bred racing "pigeons" have the freedom of the sky, and are "Owned" and registered and are therefore Property whilst loose for training and racing, others are for different, lawful activities and, as such, steps to protect them may also may be lawfully taken even into court for prosecution purposes, may I, without Prejudice, remind you of the same pigeons of today were engaged in two world wars and raptors were used by the RAF as target practice and to protect pigeons carrying vital information for that period
Racing pigeons, when lost, must be claimed when reported and I mean MUST, one of the rules of the sport, yet, reports that raptors slaughtering livestock go un- investigated, the RSPB claim ownership, rites to situate nesting ledges and the birds themselves, so why then, when reports of "their" property are killing livestock and are we not allowed to take court action? because they are quango's as all charities are and government protected, we can take steps though and under cover of the 1981 wildlife and countryside Act as they are not protected by this legislation, so all the rhetoric telling the public that to harm/kill a raptor will mean fines and prison terms, is just that Rhetoric
As has been stated in law, Natural Phenomena is Mother Nature’s views on how the countryside and inhabitants progress through the years in a natural manner, and not as one of her many enemies proclaiming to be conservationist the RSPB state, they are all for selective species of raptors, and do encourage the destruction of wild raptors, one that is making a comeback to these shores is the Eagle Owl, suggestions are that habitat, eggs or even the owl itself be destroyed, Minister, these are wild birds, protected under the 1981 act, the captive bred birds are not.
My appeal to the powers that be was for intervention with the practices of the RSPB of captive breeding and release into any areas of the UK, claims by the head office of the RSPB is that raptors are being shot and poisoned, many by the Pigeon fraternity, may be so, who really knows, blokes that have lived off the land and still do can give a more definite explanation on the many deaths of raptors found and quite expertly, put it down to starvation, some have been shot also.
To watch raptors, in family gatherings it can be seen by parents with young looking at the techniques of hunting for food, but rarely today because the young birds are captive bred, placed on platforms, selectively paired, fed in captivity, food left for them even when the cage front has been removed, what do they know, what have they learn ‘t? these birds either starve to death or are taken other ways, and as they are not wild birds (only forensic testing will show) they will be viewed as "vermin" if you like and dealt with accordingly, please may I/ or delegation, meet up with you, and any member of the RSPB with the knowledge on such matters, this will be in the interest of the public and of the wildlife.
The photo of the pigeon is registered to me, it was knocked out of the sky by a juvenile peregrine, but not interested in no further, yearlings just having fun, the nesting ledge was placed by the RSPB, but on private land.
Yes, we need to get more done about the BOP problem before it is too late for our hobby, I know there are thing’s being done but they are taking far too long, that’s how administration goes.