PIGEONS could to have their necks broken when a council culling regime for High Wycombe begins, bosses have said.

Wycombe District Council said ‘cervical dislocation’ was the ‘usual choice’ of pest controllers but could not confirm it will be used as a firm has not been chosen.

Pigeons could also be gassed, they said.

A woman campaigning against the move branded the treatment as ‘horrible’.

Council spokesman Becky Wotherspoon said: “The council will ensure any pigeons will be humanely destroyed in accordance with current best practice methods and all applicable legal requirements.

“The actual choice of method will be down to our contractor who has not been chosen or appointed at this time.

“We are aware that the usual method of humane destruction is cervical dislocation but other techniques such as gassing do exist. All carcases will then be properly disposed of.”

But campaigner Ellen Wise said the method was ‘horrible’.

She said: “If anyone ever witnesses a cull they will never want to do it again for the rest of their lives.”

Bucks Free Press: pigeons

Ellen Wise with the petition against the plan.

Bosses have said pigeons pose a risk to public health, but Mrs Wise, of Lady Verney Close, High Wycombe, said they have ‘not conclusively’ proved it.

She and two other residents urged councillors to reject the plan at a meeting of the authority on Monday and handed over a petition of about 400 signatures.

They said it was illegal and would increase pigeon numbers – but the council denied this and said pigeon faeces were a danger to public health.

The council plans to trap and kill pigeons and then scare away the remaining with a hawk. They said Frogmoor was the biggest area of concern.

Councillor Clive Harriss said the birds are a ‘nuisance’ and the council had received letters of support.

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