London Letter: Ruffled feathers

In response to Serena Mackesy's article 'Shoot the sky rats' (17 August) in which she describes so emotionally how much she detests pigeons, I would like to bring several facts to her attention.

During both World Wars, pigeons were used to carry vital messages. In the First World War, an English bred pigeon, named 'Cher Ami', became famous by serving with a battalion from New York, stationed on the front line at Verdun. In spite of the loss of a foot and a wound to the head, the bird carried a vital message for twenty-five miles.

During the Second World War, at least 32 pigeons received the 1943-inaugurated Dickin Medal for brave service. In this war, pigeons were extensively used to carry secret messages to American agents behind enemy lines. As a result of this, many human lives were saved.

It is far better to adopt the principle of 'Live and let Live', rather than destroying the life that Nature has provided us.

Miss S Christou NW6

(Photograph omitted)