KILLING pigeons over farmland is ‘necessary to protect crops’, according to a shooting and conservation group.

The Sentinel reported earlier this week that Kidsgrove residents’ lives are being made a misery by gunmen shooting the birds near their homes.

But the British Association for Shooting and Conservation believes it must be done to safeguard crops.

Spokesman Simon Clarke said: “Pigeons are the UK’s number one agricultural pest and the damage they can do to is immense. Shooting them is the only effective way of protecting crops and will increase as harvest approaches. “However, if residents find such pest control a nuisance, they should talk to local farmers.

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