The Government was today urged to do more to protect pigeons from being chased, harassed and generally terrorised by giddy toddlers.
Nev Burke, a pigeon whisperer from Barnsley, made the appeal following the publication of a report that claimed preschool children now posed a greater threat to pigeons than their natural predator, the peregrine falcon.
“I’ve had enough of pigeons being intimidated by feral children,” said Mr Burke.
“Last week, I saw a little boy kick one right up its arse. I was so shocked I shouted ‘If you can’t behave like an adult, you shouldn’t be using this playpark!’ but the little brat just laughed at me.
“If the Government doesn’t start ASBOing these tearaways soon, there won’t be any bloody pigeons left!” he added tearfully.
Although academics have unanimously dismissed the report as “total bollocks”, its author, Simon Williams, stands by its findings.
“The aim of the study was to find out why nobody ever sees baby pigeons. I never expected to discover it was because under-threes were scaring them all to death.
“My research suggests that toddlers’ hostility toward pigeons is a basically a ‘fight-or-flight’ response – they want to fight anything that’s capable of flight.
“Either that or it’s something to do with them playing Angry Birds too much,” concluded Mr Williams.