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Pendle Council urges people not to feed the pigeons

Published: Wednesday, 2nd October 2019



Businesses in Nelson town centre have joined forces with Pendle Council to urge people not to feed the pigeons.

They’re concerned about the number of birds in the town and the problems infestations cause from risks to public health, damage to buildings and attracting other pests.

The amount of food being left is being described as ‘excessive’.

Philip Mousdale, Pendle Council’s Corporate Director, said: “People may think they’re being kind feeding the pigeons but it’s creating a real problem.

“Pigeon poo carries a range of diseases including salmonella and E Coli which can be spread to humans and because it’s so acidic, it’s damaging our buildings.

“The excessive amount of food being left is also attracting pests such as rats, which bring a host of other problems with them.”

Posters and signs are being displayed reminding people not to feed the pigeons. 

Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, added: “We understand people like to feed wild birds but they probably don’t understand the problems they create.

“If we’re really going to tackle this issue we need information from the public about who is feeding them.

“We need days, times and descriptions of the people so that we can try and identify and educate them on the nuisance, health risks and damage pigeons cause.

“They will not starve if we don’t feed them. Pigeons are wildlife and are not dependent on us to feed them. They will just breed less often.”

A local business said: “We’re sick and tired of the amount of food which is being put down for pigeons.

“We want Nelson town centre to be a pleasant place to visit rather than somewhere to avoid!”

If you have any information about who is feeding the pigeons, contact Audrey Drinkwater, Senior Localities and Policy Officer, on (01282) 661339 or email

Problems associated with pigeons:

  • Diseases and parasites spread quickly among pigeons
  • Droppings and leftover food can cause people to slip and injure themselves, especially during wet and cold weather
  • Pigeons carry mites that can cause skin diseases among humans
  • Nests, dropping and feathers block air vents and gutters