Probe begins into 15 dead birds on poles

A dead jackdaw hung from a pole in a field off Stoke Road yT7WTrUVZ_WpPo7LP5KQ
A dead jackdaw hung from a pole in a field off Stoke Road yT7WTrUVZ_WpPo7LP5KQ

Bedfordshire Police and the RSPCA are investigating reports of dead jackdaws hanging from poles in Linslade.

A reader told the LBO that they had spotted 15 of the birds hanging from poles in a farmer’s field, bordering Stoke Road.

They wrote in a letter: “These birds have been shot and hung up, presumably as a deterrent (an ineffective one) to other members of the crow family.

“It may be legal to shoot certain supposed pest species, but once they have been shot, why display them in such a barbaric way.”

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We are looking into this incident and ask anyone with any concerns about animal welfare offences to call us on 0300 1234 999.”

The image was posted on our Facebook page and there were mixed responses from users.

Susanne Zarkovic, commented: “That is disgusting, they should not be allowed to do that.”

Gregory Macdonald, commented on the post: “According to Google, farmers use them as scarecrows.”

Another user did not see the problem, Leeza Feldberg, commented on the post: “If they are dead, what is the problem?”

Brian Finnerty, of National Farmers Union East Anglia, said: “It is not common practice to hang dead jackdows from poles and it is unlikely to be related to crop protection.

“The main threat to emerging crops, such as oilseed rape, are pigeons.

“Farmers use a wide range of methods to deter these, including audible bird scarers, shooting, displaying dummy birds of prey, and scarecrows.

“Farmers have also employed people to act as human scarwcrows in extreme circumstances.

“Jackdaws eat young birds and bird eggs as part of their diet and that might be why the farmer or landowner is trying to deter them.

“The fact that some farmers display dead birds in this way suggests they believe it acts as a deterrent.”

A spokesman for Bedfordshire Police said: “We are looking into this now it has been raised and would encourage anyone with information to call 101.”

The LBO contacted Central Bedfordshire Council, Leighton Linslade Town Council and Grange Mill Farm to discover who owned the land, but they did not know.

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