Gosport museum set to kill pigeons

Police at the scene of Nickleby House, Buckland, where a man has fallen to his death

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Gosport's submarine museum has come under fire today for planning to kill hundreds of nuisance pigeons.

Bosses at the museum in Haslar Jetty Road say the birds' droppings are ruining their displays.

They have tried using a model hawk to scare the birds away and put spikes up to stop them nesting, without success.

A contract has been signed with pest removal specialist Rentokil and a meeting was being held today to set a date for the cull.

But today the museum was bombarded by protest messages from animal rights activists from all over the world, who have branded the move completely unnecessary cruelty.

John Robins, the secretary of the Animal Concern Advice Line, said: 'This is a cruel waste of money. This doesn't work. More pigeons will come and replace them.'

Emma Haskell, of the Gosport-based Pigeon Control Advisory Service, which advises on non-lethal bird control, added: 'It's cruel, expensive, unnecessary and it doesn't work. We are just around the corner – they should have called us.'

But museum director Commander Jeff Tall, insisted the cull would go ahead, although he admitted he had been taken aback by the strength of the opposition. He said the museum's centrepiece, the 60-year-old HMS Alliance submarine, was being bombarded by droppings. 'You have to see HMS Alliance to believe it,' he said.

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