Stoke & Staffordshire

Review over Stoke-on-Trent goose-shooting policy

A policy of using guns to cull Canada geese in Stoke-on-Trent will be reviewed after residents complained of being frightened by shots the day after Derrick Bird's rampage in Cumbria.

People living near Longton Park said they heard shots being fired at about 0530 BST on 3 June.

The city council apologised but said Canada geese destroy natural wildlife.

Taxi driver Bird shot dead 12 people and wounded 11 others before killing himself in a field near Boot on 2 June.

'Unnerves people'

Terry Follows, cabinet member for environment, waste management and neighbourhood services, said Stoke-on-Trent City Council would look into how it deals with geese.

"We will go into every method, but we've got to use the most cost-effective and humane way of doing it."

Mr Follows said the operation on 3 June was an exercise planned "months in advance".

He said: "It was done for health and safety reasons [given] the dirt and rubbish these geese leave.

"There's been outrage because it was the day after the shootings in Cumbria and it unnerves people, which we will admit was wrong.

"But Canada geese take over and colonise and destroy our natural wildlife and these things have to be done."

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