HL Deb 14 March 2005 vol 670 cc121-2WA
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What level of damage they calculate is done to agricultural production and biodiversity from pest bird species. [HL1608]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Whitty)

Information on the costs to agriculture or impacts on biodiversity are available for certain pest bird species. In the 1980s it was estimated that annual damage to oilseed rape crops by wood pigeons amounted to £2.5 million. For Canada geese, no cost estimates are available, but they are recognised as causing significant agricultural damage in certain situations, and often damage amenity grasslands through fouling and trampling. Fouling by feral pigeons and gulls can constitute a health hazard at grain stores and livestock feeding areas, although costs have not been collated. Gulls and corvids are recognised as egg predators of gamebirds and may have impacts on other species of conservation concern, such as nesting seabirds although we are not aware of any research relating to this.