The RSPCA is appealing for information after an injured pigeon with sharp plastic hooks on his feet was rescued in Staffordshire.
RSPCA inspector Laura Bryant rescued the pigeon on Tuesday (2 February) after he had gotten stuck in a garden in Poolfield Road, Lichfield. He is now being cared for at the RSPCA’s Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, in Cheshire.
Inspector Bryant said: “This poor pigeon was caught up in someone’s garden due to the fact he had plastic clips on his legs with big hooks coming out of them. These hooks are used by a very small number of keepers in a cruel practice which aims to injure sparrowhawks, peregrine falcons and other birds of prey who might attack the pigeon.
“The hooks are incredibly sharp and were very tight on the bird’s legs. It is absolutely appalling that people would do this as it is not acceptable to injure – sometimes fatally – pigeons and birds of prey in this way. Not only that, but It is also illegal.”
Inspector Bryant said that these hooks are often attached to ‘tumbler’ pigeons – so-called due to the way they fly by tumbling out of the sky – and which are in particular targeted by birds of prey.
She added: “Thankfully, staff at Stapeley Grange managed to remove the hooks and the pigeon is now doing well. We do not know where the pigeon came from as his ring had been removed but we do not believe he would have travelled far from where he was found.
“It is such a cruel practice and we are appealing for anyone who has any information on who did this to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).