Bloodsports on the square

Bloodsprts on Trafalgar Square, London England - Bloodsports on Trafalgar Square, London
Trafalgar Square is internationally famed for its semi-domestic pigeon flock, and tourists from all over the world come to the Square for the "pigeon experience”. Recent visitors, however, may have noticed an unwelcome development. A man with a hawk now patrols the Square with the ostensible aim of scaring the pigeons away from the area. This is bad enough, but the
hawk handlers go further.

Although their remit is simply to frighten the birds, hawk handlers have
been seen throwing their hawk into groups of birds for nothing more than the thrill of seeing a pigeon torn to pieces. Make no mistake - this is bloodsports pure and simple. It is a sad irony indeed that it is being
permitted by Mayor Ken Livingstone - a man who, as an MP, tried to steer an anti-hunting bill through the House of Commons, and opened an Animal Aid cruelty-free fair prior to his 2000 election promising "a cruelty free London."

The following incident, reported by one of our morning feeders, provides a perfect illustration of what is going on at Londoners’ expense:

“I witnessed the hawk handler sending up the hawk to capture a pigeon. The two birds were then picked up by the handler, both flapping their wings. The man kept them close to his chest and took them to his van. The birds were hurriedly placed on the floor of the van by the driver’s seat. The pigeon was continually crying out as it was undergoing a long and painful death under the hawk’s beak and claws.

The handler slammed the van door shut, pushed me away while I was trying to photograph the birds and threatened to “smash” my camera. The pigeon was still crying out.”

The Mayor has so far spent a staggering £250,000 of taxpayers’ money on the hawks and has just pledged to spend over £40,000 more.  It’s all the more shocking when you realise that use of the hawks is not only cruel but utterly useless. We commissioned an independent scientist to examine the utility of the hawk in deterring the birds.  He concluded it was completely ineffective! Click on link to see the report. Page1 Page2 (requires Acrobat Reader)

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