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Sandwell Council takes a gander at new goose cull petition

Sandwell | News | Published:

A new petition put forward by an activist group will be discussed by Sandwell Council next month to consider options for 'non lethal methods' of controlling Canadian geese.

Back in January, over 4,000 people signed a petition calling on the council to end its controversial geese cull, which saw a total of 220 geese culled over the past two years in Tipton's Victoria Park and Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich.

Council chiefs agreed to stop culling after a further meeting in February, but advised activists it was not something 'they could rule out in the future.'

New measures have been introduced which include re-locating pathways, bird scarer devices and the continuation of pricking and oiling of eggs.

But now a new 1,400 signature strong petition has been handed in, which attempts to look at 'ground maintenance issues and alternatives to lethal methods of controlling geese.'

The geese had been taken as part of attempts to keep numbers under control, but activists reacted furiously after images showing geese being ushered into vans were posted online last year.

Ian Carroll, organiser of the petition, said: "There are still a number of issues to be discussed with the council.

"We would like to see re-diverted footpaths made in both parks so people will then have the option of where they want to walk, whether that be close or far away from the geese. It is a sensible option to put forward to the council.

"Fencing should also be considered, whether it be the geese have a certain area fenced off for their own part of the park, it's definitely an option.

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"As I have said before, as a group we will continue to do all we can to see culling and lethal methods permanently stopped in all parks across Sandwell, and we feel these are the right steps forward for that to happen."

The council had previously said geese numbers had 'got out of control', with more than 1,000 of them grazing in Sandwell parks and advised its culling methods were in line with Natural England, the body that advises the Government on the environment.

Maria Crompton, in charge of the environment, said: "I appreciate all of the points and the petition the group have put to the council, and I honestly feel we have done everything we can at this stage to adhere to them. But people who use these parks have to be considered just as much as the Canadian Geese, we are trying to make a fair assessment of both."

The petition will be discussed at a council meeting on May 18.

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