Open letter- Adrian Bailey and Tom Watson MP’s- Sandwell council’s goose cull

Dear Mr Bailey and Mr Watson,
 
REF Sandwell council’s clandestine cull of Canada geese.
 
I am writing to you both in this open letter concerning the killing of around 220 Canada geese at Victoria park Tipton and Dartmouth park West Bromwich between 2013-14. I am sure that you are now aware of this given the extensive media coverage.
Last year I intercepted a pest control company called PESTEX rounding up birds in Victoria park. The background to this incident can be found at
 
http://www.saveoursandwellcanadageese.org.uk/?page_id=16
 
And the video found at.
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZE7bUZsYlc#t=16
 
This company in brief told me a pack of poorly rehearsed lies concerning what they were really there to do- which was to round up and murder healthy flightless birds, because of the fallacy that they are a nuisance and are so called “non-native”.
Canada geese have been in this country since the 17th Century when they were introduced as slaves against their will purely for the land owning class to blast and kill for their own sick gratification. They were also then released onto landowners estates for similar status derived viewing. Their spread to urban parks is relatively more recent- it should be noted with the creation of unnatural man-made lakes usually surrounded by manicured lawns- their only source of “natural” food.
 
I am wondering whether you are able to trace your linage back to the 17th Century or are able to confirm that you are “native” to this country. I certainly know that I couldn’t, yet there appear to be many within organisations such as Natural England that are certainly not of native descent, and neither are their immediate relations. They do however enjoy equality rights legislation and protection against discrimination on such grounds. What a pity that they express their own racism against the wildlife of countries instead. I include within these organisations Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. 
 
It would appear that Sandwell Council in the form of One Senior Parks officer, namely John Satchwell Senior who lives in Victoria park , personally briefed on this extreme and unnecessary killing of birds, also spreading the lie concerning their “relocation” to the Sandwell Valley. He lied to my face and on the phone that the birds had been “relocated”. I am wondering what you think of this from a sandwell council officer?
 
I now have confirmation from a freedom of information request to SMBC that this process was “approved verbally”, by Councillor Maria Crompton and the apparent briefing document “ is not a public document.” Why so?
At this point I would like to add that having contacted Natural England, a recognized “partner organization “ of Sandwell council, they would not authorize the release of a “non-native” species such as Canada geese into another location. The idea of moving birds a distance of just 3 miles is also absurd, as they would easily return when able to do so out of the moult season when their flight feathers had returned- within a matter of 3-4 weeks. I have clear evidence from Sandwell council, that Sandwell council did indeed release and relocate the batch of Canadas from Victoria park last year at Forge Mill lake at the Sandwell Valley. I only believe that they did this after I had found out about it. Indeed Satchwell got on the phone to Chris Moore at the Sandwell Valley, when I was already on the phone to the manager of the Sandwell Valley to ask what he knew about the Pestex and Satchwell lie concerning “relocation”.
 
Though I fundamentally disagree with the 1930’s Germany philosophy of Natural England and those supporters of culling “non-native” species, I do recognize that Sandwell council have broken the law concerning the needless relocation of  these Victoria park resident birds to the Sandwell Valley. I wonder what your thoughts are on this matter, and how one Parks officer has brought the council into disrepute with his own personal action?
Unfortunately this also appears to have taken place in Dartmouth park last year, as well as in Victoria park Tipton again this year according to the council’s official statement. Their plan to introduce “ornamental ducks” onto the pool is equally bizarre- especially the Muscovy duck- a “non-native” species. We do not support the release of such birds into the wildfowl population given the inherent disease risks that captive bred birds pose in the wild environment.
 
You may remember about ten years ago we undertook a detailed report into the management of angling in Sandwell’s parks and open spaces which saw us collecting over two miles of measured fishing line and a vast array of tackle banned under Sandwell council’s own code of conduct.
 
Although there have been some small improvements since then at some sites, Sandwell council continues to manage its sites poorly and appears to have forgotten about its angling policy passed in 2003. At swan pool for example, a green flag site, 3 out of the 8 cygnets hatched this year have had to be removed off the site due to angling related issues. This is clearly not good enough. It also costs the voluntary /charity sector money which cannot be easily funded as one council I could mention, by ticketing unsuspecting single mothers feeding the birds with their toddler.
 
I would therefore appreciate your views on this matter from this open letter, and I am not asking you to write a pointless letter to Sandwell council for their rehashed lies about Canada geese and invented complaints that they cite to justify this senseless slaughter and misappropriation of taxpayers money. Do you support Sandwell council’s actions in this matter regarding their killing of Canada geese- this is a yes or no answer- there cannot be any half way house.
 
Labour in Sandwell enjoys an unscrutinised and favourable position in the form of a non- existent opposition- but this can lead to the misguided autocratic decisions taken by single officers for their own personal vested interests- such is the case here.
 
Labour had a pretty decent record concerning animal welfare improvements when in Government unlike this CON-DEM Government’s shameful wildlife slaughter for the benefit of the landowning class. The Labour Animal Welfare society LAWS, have published a document concerning an agenda that the next Government should take with regard to animal welfare- ONE OF THE AIMS CALLS FOR AN END TO ALL GOVERNMENT SPONSORED CULLS.

“End all government backed culls of wildlife

 including badgers.”

 
I would like your views on this specific LAWS proposal- do you support their view without any fence sitting caveats to justify Sandwell councils disgraceful cull of wildlife?
Sandwell council with this action have undertaken a Conservative approach and would appear to have done exactly the same in power as this Government. TELL ME IF THIS IS LABOUR IN POWER IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT THEN WHY SHOULD I TRUST ANYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT ANIMAL WELFARE WHEN IN POWER NATIONALLY?
 
As a direct consequence of this council’s actions, we will be dropping the name “sandwell swanwatch”  to just “swanwatch” , as we do not wish to be associated with an area that murders birds because of its own bigoted agenda for attaining silly little green flags that it likes to brag about- especially it seems against other local authorities which are not under LABOUR control. If the killing of birds to attain green flags is about playing party politics then I do hope that Karma finds those who instigate such actions. We certainly could do with a cull of politicians whose nepotism and cronyism corrupts democracy to the core. Red blood of animals it seems has been spilt to keep the green flags flying there.
 
Yours Sincerely,
 
Ian Carroll
Swanwatch

 

We will post any responses received.

 

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