Supporters of feral parakeets want captures stopped

Nov. 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Supporters of Britain's feral monk parakeet population want the government to stop efforts to kill or trap the animals.

Lorraine Cavanagh, a self-described "parakeet protector" in London, said she and her allies have submitted Freedom of Information requests seeking to have the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs reveal the fates of parakeets caught since trapping efforts began in 2008, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The agency, which said the parakeets pose a potential danger to food crops and could damage electric pylons, said it has spent $309,000 since 2008 to capture the parakeets, which are native to Latin America and have a population estimated between 55 and 87 in Britain.

Agency reports also revealed agents have attempted to shoot the birds, but the fired pellets did not penetrate the skin of the parakeets.

Cavanagh said she and her fellow parakeet supporters, who have held protests in support of the birds, want the agency to reveal the fate of the captured parakeets and halt efforts against the species.

"My argument is, the sky doesn't belong to DEFRA," Cavanagh said.

Dave Parrott, a wildlife expert helping oversee the DEFRA program, said the captured birds are not euthanized.

"The majority of these birds have been taken into captivity and re-homed," he said. "I am not at liberty to give you any information on where they are."

Officials said they do not know how the parakeets ended up in Britain.

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