A Manx bird charity has spoken against Douglas Council’s move to ban mass feeding of wild birds throughout the town.
Manx Wild Bird Aid (MWBA) is calling for the council to follow guidance set out by the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture (DEFA) on how to manage the pigeon population without leaving them to starve.It also raises concerns about home bird feeders being affected.The council is now seeking approval from Tynwald to amend the Douglas General Byelaws 2013, in particular bylaw 19, which relates to ’feeding of animals and birds’.It wants to extend the current prohibited feeding zone to cover the entire Borough of Douglas.
The current zone includes; Douglas seafront from the Bottleneck to the war memorial; Mona Terrace; Finch Road; Athol Street; Bridge Road; South Quay and Parade Street; plus areas on Prospect Terrace and Buck’s Road.Those caught flouting the bylaw would be given a fixed penalty notice.David Cole, a founding member of MWBA with his wife Barbara, doesn’t believe the bylaw would protect those who feed birds at home from being fined if a complaint is made against them.He said: ’The trouble is that Douglas Council says the bylaw doesn’t apply to people with bird tables in their gardens. A byelaw doesn’t have any exceptions.’In theory if someone says “the birds in your garden are annoying me” the bird feeder could be liable for a spot fine.’
Council leader David Christian said: ’The changes the council is proposing are not about targeting well-meaning householders who have bird tables or garden feeders in their gardens. This we applaud.
’It’s about putting enforcement measures in place to deal with irresponsible individuals who persistently mass-feed birds, especially seagulls.’This is a practice which attracts large concentrations of birds, causes widespread public nuisance and distress and encourages vermin.’It also places undue demands on the council’s street cleansing operations and compromises our efforts to project a positive image for Douglas.’Advice given by the DEFA to local authorities includes having designated feeding areas set up for members of the public to freely feed pigeons and other birds.
In the document ’Advice and Information on Pigeon Control’, it also suggests setting up artificial breeding facilities, which has been said to decrease pigeon populations by as much as 50%.This is achieved by removing eggs that have been laid inside the nesting boxes and replacing them with dummy eggs.We previously reported in May about the worrying decline of seabird populations across the island.A survey was carried out over two years by Manx BirdLife with its 2017-18 census revealing that eight seabird species have suffered significant declines, with population losses of up to 82%.hen asked about this, Mr Cole said: ’We have got to give gulls a helping hand, particularly when it’s cold or during breeding season. When we take away that option [of being fed] it’s going to have an affect on a number of birds.’
He added: ’We deal with sick and injured birds. If there’s a sudden stop in the feeding of birds then a lot of them are going to starve because of it. There’s a lot of distressed birds in the island already.’’Milly would be here’ had Glasgow hospital followed adviceA mother whose daughter died at Scotland’s largest hospital has said her daughter would be still alive had concerns about water contamination risks been addressed in time.Kimberly Darroch was speaking after a leaked inspection report into Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) revealed “high risks” in 2015.
Milly Main, 10, contracted an infection in 2017 while on the hospital campus.She was recovering from leukaemia at the Royal Hospital for Children.
The QEUH 2015 inspection report, which ranked infection control measures as “high risk” in several areas just two days after the hospital opened, was passed to Labour MSP Anas Sarwar by whistleblowers. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) insisted the hospital campus had a “safe and effective water supply” and all inspection reports had been acted upon.
Warning of ‘high risk’ to water supply at hospitalHospital infection spiked at time of child’s deathMs Darroch told BBC Scotland on Thursday night: “I’m shocked with the information that came out today. The fact that they’ve known since since 2015, it’s absolutely disgusting that nothing was done about it and no action was taken and the hospital was still opened.
“I believe Milly would still be here if action had been taken. I’ve no doubt in my mind that Milly would be sitting beside me, right now.”There is no words to describe that pain of knowing that if things had been different, that if things had been sorted with the water, she would still be here.”I think the health board needs to be held to account for the mistakes that they made.”
She added: “We wouldn’t have been made aware of any of this if it wasn’t for the whistleblower coming forward.”I think there will continue to be shocking revelations for the foreseeable future.”
Kimberly Darroch said the leaked report had “shocked” herA spokesperson said the Scottish government was “examining in detail” the separate material Mr Sarwar had highlighted.
They added: “We want to ensure that all families who have been affected can get the answers that they are clearly entitled to and the health secretary has given her personal assurance that she will ensure this happens.”We are committed to making sure that these matters are dealt with transparently and with clear accountability, which is one of the reasons the health secretary has instructed a public inquiry in these matters to be chaired by Lord Brodie.”Ms Darroch said she was “very angry” and felt the health board had swept the case “under the carpet”.
A hospital complaints manager had contacted her on Thursday but she had not received an apology, she said.
Milly, who had leukaemia, underwent a successful stem cell transplant in July 2017 and was making a good recovery when the following month her Hickman line, a catheter used to administer drugs, became infected. Milly went into toxic shock and died days later.
Her death certificate lists a Stenotrophomonas infection of the Hickman line among the possible causes of death but Ms Darroch says the family were kept in the dark about a potential link to contaminated water problems at the hospital.
A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We are very sorry for the ongoing distress that has been caused to Ms Darroch and we want to provide parents with as much support as possible.”We are in contact with Ms Darroch and would like to meet her to answer her questions if she would be happy to do that.”
The Legionella assessment was carried out by private contractor DMA Water Treatment two days after the hospital openedIn the Scottish Parliament, Mr Sarwar said he had seen figures which suggested there were 50 cases of infections at the Royal Children’s Hospital – part of the £842m QEUH campus – between 2015 and 2018, and a further 15 unconfirmed cases so far this year.
ressed on the warnings at first minister’s questions, Nicola Sturgeon said she was determined to get the “answers parents deserve”.The documents seen by Mr Sarwar show that NHS Estates commissioned three separate independent reports into the water supply at the QEUH.
The first Legionella assessment, carried out by private contractor DMA Water Treatment on 29 April 2015 – two days after the hospital welcomed its first patients – categorised the management of the bacteria as “high risk” because there was “significant communication issues between the parties” responsible for managing the risk.
The problem of contaminated water is one of a number to beset the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) and the adjoining Royal Hospital for Children.
Last year, two cancer wards at the children’s hospital were shut because of concerns about infection, and children were moved to the QEUH instead. An inquiry by Health Protection Scotland later identified 23 potential water supply-linked infections during 2018.In January it emerged two patients at the QEUH had died after contracting an infection linked to pigeon droppings.
City to remove hundreds of tonnes of pigeon poop from Sid Buckwold BridgeSaskatoon has a pigeon poop problem. A heavy one.
Since it opened in 1966, a flock of around 1,500 pigeons has called the Senator Sid Buckwold Bridge home. Over the last five decades, the city estimates that 348 tonnes of pigeon droppings have accumulated in the crevices and cavities of the 183-metre bridge.
Now, as part of a two-year plan to rehabilitate the concrete river crossing, the city is preparing to spend around $800,000 on specialized contractors who will capture and euthanize the pigeons, then manually remove 53 years worth of their feces.The next step will be to ensure pigeons can’t return, because the feces adds significantly to the bridge’s dead load and the uric acid in the droppings can eat into concrete and rebar, according to the city’s general manager of transportation and construction.
The droppings weigh as much as 232 mid-sized cars — within the limits for which the bridge is rated, but a potential concern should nothing be done, Angela Gardiner said Friday in an interview. Large piles of pigeon droppings also have potential health implications.
“There’s no immediate concern about the integrity of the bridge; it’s just the long-term potential that it could cause over a number of years and decades,” she said, adding that there is no indication the uric acid has damaged the bridge’s structure.
The city expects the work to begin next week. The first phase — trapping and euthanizing the birds — is slated to last about six weeks, while the “labour-intensive” cleaning is likely to continue through the summer and into the fall, Gardiner said.
Once the bridge is clean, the city plans to install barriers to ensure pigeons can’t return to the cavities and utility conduit under the span. Gardiner acknowledged that it’s impossible to completely eliminate the pigeons, but said the city will do what it can to keep them away.
While the city plans to keep an eye on its other major pieces of infrastructure, the Buckwold Bridge is thought to be particularly hospitable for pigeons. The city’s other bridges offer the birds far fewer opportunities to nest.
Pigeons are well-known pests that damage private property as well as municipal infrastructure. They are also thought to be among the most destructive; few other species are capable of causing as much damage.
“This job comes with a lot of new and unique things. Each project is different. We were aware there were pigeons (and) an issue with this bridge. But the extent of it is a lot bigger than I thought anyone anticipated,” Gardiner [email protected]
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