THE founder of Respect For Wildlife UK group has accused Halton Borough Council of shirking its responsibilities by not yet removed netting under the Silver Jubilee Bridge 'that is trapping birds'.

The RSPCA and firefighters were called last week to rescue a bird trapped under the netting which saw angry passersby calling for the netting to be removed.

A spokesperson for the council said that it would need to look at the potential health and safety risks before removing the netting.

Frustrated at the response, Katherine Owen, from Respect for Wildlife UK has sent an email citing that, despite clear evidence which shows dead birds, the council has only seen one live pigeon trapped in the netting.

She said: "As the founder of a group that peacefully campaign for wildlife, I have been inundated with people informing me about the issue regarding the Jubilee Bridge and trapped pigeons.

"In this news article your ‘spokesperson’ stated: “We would like to reassure those who have raised their concerns that in 2020, we have seen just one live pigeon trapped within the SJB netting” and continued to say: “We have seen no evidence to back claims made that the exclusion netting has caused the death of numerous pigeons on the Silver Jubilee Bridge.” This was said despite there being clear, pictorial evidence to the contrary which show dead birds.

"That statement was, quite frankly, an insult to the intelligence of those who reported this and tried to help those suffering birds."

She continued: "As a council responsible for the netting you are then responsible for any bird caught in it, therefore, if any birds are caught and have died you have caused ‘unnecessary suffering’ under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Section 4. If any bird dies by entrapment, whether deliberately or otherwise, you are responsible for that bird’s welfare.

“Wildlife crime is any activity that goes against legislation protecting the UK's wild animals and plants. It can cause pain and suffering to animals - killing or capturing, damaging or destroying the habitat of any protected animal.”

"It would appear that this netting is not going to be removed any time soon due to the various reasons your spokesperson cited. Your spokesperson also stated: “In addition, we will need to examine ways to protect the steel work from the harmful effects of pigeon droppings.” May I suggest you make contact with a world expert on bird control and an independent consultant who has dealt with these type of issues many time, his methods are non lethal and proven and will not result in further birds dying.

"You also, as a council, have a responsibility to use tax payers money wisely so to just further net this bridge will not solve the problem and will result in further birds dying and will be a very costly expense. Pest Controllers are not experts in bird control and invariably use the type of netting that, after a short period of time, entraps birds leading to a slow, painful death. I would also like to ask has this council culled any birds during the time this bridge has been in operation and also how many birds have you seen that were trapped in this netting before 2020?"

She added that she would be lobbying a petition on the matter this week.