One of the most effective methods of campaigning is to write letters to the authority in question, in this case Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. Rather than bombard them with a standard letter, which they will rubbish as snail mail spam, it is better for the individual to express their own outrage against the council’s actions regarding this unnecessary cull. Below are some suggestions as to what you can write. We would address the letter to the chief executive at the council Mr Jan Britton. If you live in Sandwell follow the text in green, if outside of Sandwell perhaps outline your own experiences and consider stating that you would not spend money in a park where a council kills wildlife for green flags.
Dear Mr Britton,
Ref Sandwell council’s cull of Canada geese,
I wish to object to Sandwell Council’s cull of a reported 220 geese on Victoria Park Tipton, and Dartmouth Park West Bromwich between 2013-14.
As a taxpayer in Sandwell and someone who appreciates all wildlife in its parks, I do not agree with this cull by SMBC, the reasons given by the council for carrying it out, and the lack of scrutiny that was adopted. John Satchwell, senior parks officer wrote a heavily biased report against this species which was presented to a misinformed Cabinet member Maria Crompton who gave verbal approval for the cull. It does not appear to have been picked up that Mr Satchwell has a pecuniary interest in removal of geese from Victoria park Tipton, in that he lives in the park and they allegedly foul the grass near his house.
If the geese are causing “damage”, then I would point out the damage caused by sports on amenity grassland in parks, rubbish dumped by those participating and spectating as well as unauthorised anti social activities.
It is not the case as stated that egg pricking has taken place in Sandwell every year, nor that there are 1000 birds in Sandwell’s parks and open spaces. A different figure of 700 was quoted in Satchwell’s original briefing report, showing that the council figures are fictional invention.
I have been affected by this cull, and hope that you will not carry out any more culls in the future.
(Give reasons here, and your personal experiences.)
- Which parks do you visit?
- Do you take your children there to feed the birds and have they been upset by the killing of birds? How have you explained this to them?
- Alternatively ask your child or help them write a letter to the council with pictures of the birds.
- Have you experienced being “attacked” by aggressive birds?
- Do you care about all species of bird in the parks of Sandwell and not support singling out one species for slaughter?
- Do you think introducing “ornamental ducks” , including the non-native Muscovy duck is a good idea, baring in mind that these species bully and harass other wildfowl?
There are alternative methods to culling, which United Utilities have recently agreed to adopt following major public criticism of a cull on one of their lakes. In discussion with wildlife charity Animal Aid they have stated that they will not be culling any more geese.
This cull has produced bad publicity for Sandwell council, and brought it into disrepute by telling members of the public lies about what it was doing. It has taken a freedom of information request to unravel the lies that some Sandwell council officers were spinning, and we condemn those who were not being truthful about how public money was being spent.
We support the campaign group Save our Sandwell Canada geese in trying to educate the public about Canada goose behaviour, and not allowing any more geese to be culled in Sandwell.
Chief Executive SMBC
Sandwell Council House,