HC Deb 12 July 1954 vol 530 c6W
Sir A. Bossom

asked the Minister of Agriculture for an estimate of the value of the damage done by wood-pigeons and other birds to crops during the past year.

Sir T. Dugdale

It has been estimated that a wood-pigeon eats between 10s. and £1 worth of food a year. Other bird pests, on the average, probably do slightly less damage. It has not been found possible to form a more reliable estimate owing to the extremely varied diet of these birds. There is no reliable information of the numbers of wood-pigeons in the country; but there are very many and there is little doubt that their numbers have increased in recent years. Last winter some 1½ million wood-pigeons were killed in organised shoots and by individuals with half-price cartridges issued by the Ministry; but reports received this summer show that great damage is still being done by these birds.