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Although many people have a soft spot for these birds, and like to hear their low cooing or to feed them in parks, pigeons really are a menace. This is particularly so in the countryside, where wood pigeons cause extensive damage to crops. According to a recent report issued by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, wood pigeons can reduce a crop yield by ten per cent to 40 per cent. Of course, that destruction makes crops more expensive, and ultimately means that we, the consumers, have to pay more for our food.

However, on Tuesday, the Government-backed quango Natural England announced out of the blue that it was revoking the general licence at midnight tonight. Which means that farmers in England will have to seek individual licences in order to kill wood pigeons. If this appears to you nothing more than a legal nicety, then you would be wrong. Because the revocation of the general licence on the order of a body endorsed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs makes any farmer who shoots wood pigeons to protect his crops without an individual licence a law-breaker.


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And yet, given the immediate introduction of this law, farmers have no idea how long they will have to wait before they can get that licence. As many farmers will tell you, the best way to get rid of pigeons is to shoot them. The only effective way to save the crop is to shoot the pests. But it gets worse. It is not just crops that are vulnerable. The general licence also covered crows, which regularly peck out the eyes of lambs. From midnight, a farmer who wishes to shoot a crow that is attacking a lamb cannot do so legally.

To make matters more confusing, Natural England states it is planning to issue new general licences next week, but no one knows which birds will be covered, under what circumstances, or indeed whether any new licences will ever come into force. It is hardly surprising that the farming community is absolutely livid with Natural England, especially at such a critical time in the agricultural calendar, with vulnerable infant livestock out in the fields and young crop shoots emerging from the soil.

So why on earth has Natural England revoked the general licence, which has been in existence for decades? After all, it is not as if the pigeon population is under threat. In fact, quite the opposite — it increased by per cent between and The answer lies in the lobbying power of TV naturalist and presenter Chris Packham, who famously loathes shooting. Working in cahoots with a pressure group called Wild Justice, Packham issued a legal challenge to Natural England in February, claiming the way general licences were being issued was unlawful. His argument was that birds should be killed under the licences only if it could be proved that alternative non-lethal means, such as scaring, had been used.

And with no way of establishing whether these conditions had been met, Natural England quickly rolled over. At present, the quango has an interim chief executive in the form of Marian Spain, who is the chief executive of a wild plant conservation charity, and a former director of strategy at the Energy Saving Trust, which offers advice on renewable energy such as solar panels and biomass boilers.

TV naturalist and presenter Chris Packham, who famously loathes shooting, has lobbied Natural England to revoke the general license. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Bill Posters is an ordinary kind of guy. Prepare to learn the Truth about Sharks and Pigeons. Get A Copy. Kindle Edition , 1 , pages.

Pigeon racing 'kills up to 90 per cent of birds and must be banned' | Daily Mail Online

Published December 1st by Gorilla Books first published November 1st More Details Other Editions 3. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Truth about Sharks and Pigeons , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Truth about Sharks and Pigeons. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Feb 09, Faith Jones rated it it was ok. How do I feel about this book?

The ordinary animal that suddenly speaks to a human, a pigeon, instantly made me think the author had read and enjoyed Expecting Someone Taller by Tom Holt, in which a badger gets run over and then unexpectedly speaks to the driver. This was an How do I feel about this book? This was an original surprise in , when Holt did it. Is it commendable when a piece of theatre that operates on two levels is recreated years later on only one? The similarity with this is that a different species of talking creatures secretly run the world and humans have completely misinterpreted their relationship with them due to their successful designs and intrigues that were intended to keep it that way.

Subconscious again, she said, defending the author. I prefer unlikely heroes, beta people, and many others would agree, including this author. Tom Holt always wrote unlikely heroes except in Ye Gods, which sent up heroes and so did Douglas Adams, so I think the author likes them both and thought it works out better this way, which it does of course. Other countries have the capable alpha hero and the hometown best friend but the English style is to dispense with the hero completely and drop the best friend right in it up to their neck. This is not a pioneering work, is it?

Perhaps a comfortable re-tread. Friendly and bonkers, well intended, by someone who wants you to like it and them, but disappointing. Sort of fun but a wobbly fairground mirror reflection of what he was trying for. I want to read originality. Is it funny though? I found two good laughs and they were good but two is two, last time I counted, and I get more laughs than that giving head. The slinky in the torture chamber is sleek and effective humour, probably the high point of the book.

Feb 23, Mark Bonnett rated it it was amazing. This book, right, is mental, but the thing is that it's mental in the best way possible. Just the title alone was enough to get me hooked in enough to know that I had to read it, and blimey, was I glad I did. It's the first time in a good long while that a book's had me quite literally doubled over wi' laughter, but this one managed it I'm not going to spoil the bit that did it, I'm simply going to say "Cheggers".

Not only that, but it has genuine heart , as well, with the sweet relationship be This book, right, is mental, but the thing is that it's mental in the best way possible. Not only that, but it has genuine heart , as well, with the sweet relationship between the protagonist, Bill, and everyone's chunky knitwear aficionado, Fern. So, in short, get it read. It's chuffing brilliant. Apr 17, Jason rated it it was ok Shelves: read , e-books.

The description of the book and it's comparisons to other great authors and books grabbed my attention. As I ventured into this story I found that I was able to get into the crazy underlying story, but I never found myself actually caring. On top of all of this I did not really find enough of this to be funny. I did not laugh out loud and found some of the jokes to be jus 2 Stars The Truth about Sharks and Pigeons by Matt Phillips is a whimsical thriller written in the vain of a Terry Pratchett. I did not laugh out loud and found some of the jokes to be just too much.

They came across as trying to hard. Oh well, I finished it, but didn't love it. Mar 01, Dana rated it liked it. Hmm, British humor.

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Zany, nonsensical, and funny. When Bill Posters finds a pigeon stalking him and then talking to him, he is sure that something funny is going on. After being kidnapped and taken to the pigeon headquarters and seeing people fighting in penguin suits, he is sure of it. And now, it is up to him to save the world from the sharks using only his wits and a manicure kit. With Fern helping him, will he be able to save the world?


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  • Read this book to find out! Jul 01, Melissa rated it it was ok Shelves: comic-fantasy-far-fetched-fiction. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The good: The sheep, the "DVD Extras" at the back of the book The bad: The book was OK but would really benefit from a professional editor to weed out the worst of the distractions, e. Seriously, if you have a weapon which comes in a can and its acronym is WUPASS then having the character hold it up and announce that he's going to open a can of wupass because he's always wanted to use that phrase even though earlier he acted like he'd never heard the phrase before is just awful writing.

    He alternates between having the usual amount of action movie knowledge, and being unbelievably slow: e. He then looks at a bomb timer counting down and thinks it's a broken alarm clock. He picked both of these items up in an armory, though he did conveniently forget that so that he could hilariously mis-identify the objects later.

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