Bird-lovers angered by goose cull

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MORE than 150 geese that had been offered a home by Paul McCartney were killed over the weekend in a secret cull by a local authority, writes Marianne Macdonald.

The clearance of 156 Canada geese from Battersea Park, south London, was carried out by Wandsworth Borough Council, which said the birds' excrement poisoned fish.

But the slaughter has angered wildlife campaigners, who fear similar culls are planned for Hyde Park and St James's Park.

Anita Brown, a spokeswoman for Bird Aid, said: 'The parks are partly for wildlife to live and develop, not to be slaughtered.' Wandsworth had been given an EC grant to help protect wildlife and she would be protesting to Brussels.

Carla Lane, the television scriptwriter, had offered to take the Battersea park geese to a new home with Paul McCartney.

She said: 'I am very angry indeed. The council had essentially accepted my application to remove the geese and take them to a friend - who is very well known.'

A spokesman for the Department for National Heritage said: 'The Canada geese chase other creatures from their natural habitats and their droppings are an unacceptable risk to the public. Other methods to control them have so far not been successful.'