Kingston Pigeon Cull

By Hazel Last edited 138 months ago
Kingston Pigeon Cull

They are noisy, messy and often indulge in large-scale vandalism, defacing monuments and blocking drains; sometimes they die and leave their corpses to rot in hard to reach places, they can carry up to 60 different diseases which isn't a pleasant thought and they have a tendency to gather in huge, intimidating groups in public spaces and have been known to scare small children and nervous Far Eastern tourists. If pigeons were people, they would have have ASBOs coming out of their ears but sadly, the only time they get close to sentencing is when they decide to offload a particularly dribbly streak of poo on the pillars of the local magistrate's court.

We'd all like to see less of the feathered fiends and organisations such as the RSPCA, Animal Aid and international Pigeon Control Advisory Service recommend anti-perching, anti-roosting devices, the hire of birds of prey and getting the lady pigeons onto the Pill as a softer approach to pigeon population control. Kingston town centre management with its sinister lack of capital letters has chosen instead a far more straightforward plan of action: they're just going to kill them all.

A three year extermination programme is due to begin this month, with an aim to rid Kingsotn town centre of the current excessive numbers of pigeons. Hundreds of birds will be killed and disposed of, in what has been promised to be humane and hygienic ways. Kingston market traders are pleased that their avian enemies have such bleak futures but the pro-pigeon party are sceptical - killing off large numbers in one go may not have much effect overall.

Choosing sides seems necessary as this extermination programme divides the public between "let them live!" and "Kill them all!" but before picking which side of the fence you want to stand, have a good look at the fence. If it is covered in matted, rotting pigeon feathers and layers of reeking, diseased pigeon shit, you know which side to go to.

Image of pigeon considering what song it wants played at its funeral courtesy of Sizemore from the Londonist Flickr pool.

Last Updated 13 November 2006


At the risk of romaticizing our urban feathered friends, they are our urban wild life and has survive whatever we have thrown at them. It is a goo d metaphor to compare them to the urban youth which are undervalued and demonised in the same way. These diseases they carry where do they get them from - if our cities were sterile (in all senses of the word) places then they would be disease free but do't blame them for being resilient to disease. Cherish our wildlife like our teenagers , they may grow into an Amy Winehouse our Mutya - it's a stretch I know but the other possibility of london populated by Mirandas and Tobys with centuries of in breeding behind them doesn't bear thinking about. Sorry to move this to class but this is what it reminds me of - Pelicans are sloanes and pidgeons are hackney kids.


Ever caught a disease from a pigeon? Ever been bullied/frightened by one? Small kids tend to love them, not run screaming from them. Seagulls are the real ASBOlute horrors of our city, pooing on and attacking people... pigeons just live their mucky little lives and, beyond defacing cars that are themselves responsible for pumping noxious fumes into our city day after day anyway, do little harm. As the person above points out, their dirtiness is due largely to the filthy metropolis they inhabit. And they're quite amiable creatures really. I loathe this frankly horrific notion that we are justified in wiping out a cross-section of a species because we find their existence inconvenient. Vive les pigeons!

Mona Zemsky

Great post! After 42 years in the bird control business (, we’ll point out that there are even more reasons to keep birds away - you mention the ugly, messy droppings, the diseases, some of which can be fatal to humans, and the property defacement. In addition, there's the safety issue of slips and falls, and potential lawsuits. Money wasted: property devaluation, property damage and cleanup/repair costs. Furthermore, spending time dealing with bird problems is an enormous opportunity cost for anyone charged with this responsibility.

If considering solutions, we recommend those that make the area undesirable, solving the problem permanently. If one were to use lethal methods, new birds will still be attracted. And time management concerns will always favor a one-time fix over constant purchasing and maintenance.



Extermination is big business and this is a gold mine for whoever gets the contract, paid for by the rate payers. Culling does not reduce the pigeon population for any amount of time, but councils are not prepared to listen to reason probably because environmental departments are staffed with robots. all who care should refer to PICAS who have spent a lot of time and effort trying to educate the public on how and why there are so many pigeons and the humane way of reducing them open our minds!!!!!!!!


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