It has also been claimed that a startled pigeon flew into an elderly woman’s face leaving her with a broken nose and black eye.
Graham Tilston told the Leader he witnessed the incident close to the pigeon coops at Kaleyards, Chester, and is now demanding Cheshire West and Chester Council takes action to reduce the flock of “flying rats”.
Backed by other angry residents, he has bombarded the council with letters and phone calls urging them to cull the birds, which he says carry diseases and are becoming too widespread.
He has slammed the council for failing to move the “useless” pigeon coops, claiming they create huge flocks of birds that defecate on cars and pedestrians, fly into the nearby Tesco supermarket on Frodsham Street, and even injure people.
The coops, called a dovecote, are intended to keep the birds confined to one area and allow eggs to be taken from the roosting boxes to keep numbers down.
Mr Tilston, of Foregate Street, complained to the Local Government Ombudsman about the council’s lack of action over the issue although it was concluded no action was necessary.
He said: “I do not know the lady’s name who received a broken nose and black eye. I have been fortunate in the past by being quick enough to put my hands up in front of my face and stopping these pigeons causing a nasty injury. This is a very important health and safety issue that the council has chosen to ignore.”
Pigeon faeces also creates slippery pathways that are treacherous for older people, who regularly walked close to the dovecote to reach Tesco, Mr Tilston said.
He added: “The close proximity of the pigeon coops and the large flocks of pigeons in the city centre are a serious problem.
“A suggestion of a cull was dismissed on the grounds that it would upset the public. This is a nonsensical excuse as many members of the public consider feral pigeons as vermin and a nuisance at best. It is only a very small minority who would object to the cull.”
No one at the council was available for comment, but in a letter to Mr Tilston, CWaC’s Animal Health and Pest Control department stressed the council had no legal obligation to control pigeon numbers.
A spokesman said: “Unlike many local authorities we do have a control programme in relation to feral pigeons. In Chester, the dovecote is there specifically to allow a feeding area for the pigeons.
“The subsequent congregation of birds in the area means that we can regularly (every two weeks) remove the newly laid eggs and replace them with eggs which will not hatch.”
She said the decision to locate the coops at Kaleyards had been taken by the former city council, not CWaC, which was “exploring the possibility” of removing it.
She said people were generally opposed to a cull and experts generally agreed such a measure could lead to a larger flock than before as young and healthy pigeons “breed almost continuously to fill the vacuum”.
This summer the council introduced fines for people caught over-feeding pigeons in Chester, although it is understood no one has yet been penalised.
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