Tuesday, August 02, 2005

fowl play

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Man faces jail for killing swan
Monday, 1 August 2005

A man jumped on a sleeping swan and throttled it because he thought it was a goose and wanted to eat it, Aberdeen Sheriff Court has heard. [...] After the case, Grampian Police wildlife officer George Sangster said: "There's a big difference between a goose and a mute swan. It's one of our largest birds and is easily recognisable. [...]

BBC News

On a related note:

Police swan find hits wrong note
Friday, 18 March, 2005

The Queen's composer has ruffled feathers after police found the body of a swan at his home. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music, was cautioned over the discovery of the remains of a protected species at his house in Orkney.

He said the bird died after hitting a power line. When police called at his home he offered them swan terrine.[...]

BBC News

I imagine you could substitute the goose in this recipe with swan:

Ingredients (for 20 Slices)
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 pounds ground turkey
¼ cup chopped fresh
parsley leaves
¼ cup brandy or dry sherry
1 tablespoon finely grated
orange rind
1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
½ teaspoon ground pepper
3 cups ½-inch cubes roast
½ head romaine lettuce
2 bay leaves
2 large oranges, peeled
halved, sliced crosswise
Fresh cranberries (optional)

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Now you know why you never see baby pigeons- they're too ashamed to go out in public... wokka wokka wokka!!

Warning as pigeons caught for meals

Jun 25, 2005, 12:28

Teenagers in Walsall are catching pigeons and taking them home to cook for their tea, it was claimed today.

The alert came from Walsall’s pigeon warden Penny Tomlinson after she was told by residents in the Birchills area.

Ms Tomlinson said pigeons had to be specially reared if it was intended to cook them and those that fly around in the wild are a death threat if intended for the dinner table.

Dangerous chemicals and poisons could be inside the birds as well as medication if they have been seen by a vet – and they remain there even after the cooking process.

“They should not be cooked and eaten and it also raises a cruelty issue,” Ms Tomlinson added.

© Copyright 1997-2002 Express & Star

I'm dubious over how authentic this tale is. Firstly, the area that they mention has a high ethnic minority population. I should think that Ms Tomlinson is in fact obliquely referring to the Asian population living there as being the pigeon thieves.

It reads like the tales of Asylum Seekers stealing swans from public parks or Albanians eating donkeys.

Ms Tomlinson holds a voluntary position and has already gained some notoriety in the local press:

Pigeon warden's fury over snub
By Steve Castle
Mar 5, 2005, 08:25

A woman who has rescued scores of injured birds across Walsall was spitting feathers after experts declared no confidence in her as the town's official pigeon warden.

But officials at the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PICAS), who no longer want to work with popular Penny Tomlinson, have been told they do not have a leg to stand on.

She will continue in the post with the backing of Walsall Council.

The bombshell news was dropped out of the blue to Penny, 37, in a letter from PICAS, which claimed concerns had been raised about her ability, the advice she gives to people and the care she gives to the birds.

The service also claims there is a question mark about her as "rehabilitator of wildlife".

At her home in Bloxwich a distressed Penny said: "What they have said is all wrong and I am not at all happy."

PICAS has told Penny she is no longer its Walsall area representative, and that people who find an injured wild animal or bird should instead contact an organisation based more than 50 miles away from Walsall called Worcestershire Swan Aid.

Walsall Council wants Penny - who gives her services voluntarily and does not get paid - to continue in the post, so PICAS has broken off its working relationship with the local authority.

PICAS director Emma Haskell said: "This has been an extremely difficult situation to deal with and we are clearly loathe to extricate ourselves from an extremely positive and effective working relationship with Walsall Council."

But council head of communications Robert Blower said the "sacking" of Penny by PICAS would make little or no difference.

"Penny is highly regarded in Walsall and her heart is totally in the right place," he said. "She is always first on the scene and not only does she rescue pigeons and nurses them back to health she always plays a major role in educating the public.

"It is all to do with personalities at PICAS and as far as we are concerned Penny has the 100 per cent backing of the council."


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