Anti-bird spikes to be removed from tree in Mayfair after animal rights outcry

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Anti-bird spikes will be removed from a tree in central London after a protest by animal rights activists.

Westminster council was criticised for using the giant spikes, intended to keep pigeons at bay, on a tree in Hanover Square in Mayfair.

The authority initially said they were needed to prevent a "health risk" caused by lots of birds gathering but performed a U-turn following a protest by nature lovers.

The Animal Welfare Party, which promotes animal protection, said it was “disgusted” to learn about the spikes and said “such implements should be a source of great shame”.

Now the council’s cabinet member for city management Paul Dimoldenberg said: “Having looked again at the temporary measures introduced onto one tree, on reflection we agree that there may be better alternatives and the spikes will be removed as soon as possible.

“We put them up as large numbers of pigeons were perching on a particular branch, covering the bench beneath and surrounding area with bird droppings, rendering it unusable and unhygienic. The intention was to encourage the birds into surrounding trees so that visitors can enjoy the park safely.”

He added: “This was done with the best of intentions, in the interest of public safety and on the understanding that this temporary solution offered the best and safest deterrent. The council takes animal welfare very seriously, and we have a dedicated animal welfare team to ensure we treat wild birds with care.”

The Labour-led council has had its fair share of bird-related dilemmas over the last few months.

Visitors and locals have been pestered by seagulls in Soho recently.

The authority recently revealed it has hired a hawk to tackle the issue after a woman and small dog were reportedly attacked.

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