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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 72

The Small Birds Nuisance

The Small Birds Nuisance.

The Revising Committee's remarks on this subject were as follow:—"The damage caused to the Colony by the rapidly increasing numbers of small birds renders it imperative that some drastic and systematic method should be adopted for their suppression, and although a certain power is now in the hands of the county councils to undertake this work, it is hoped this Conference will thoroughly go into the matter with the object of promoting immediate and united action."

Mr Pashby moved, "That in view of the want of systematic action in the poisoning of small birds, clauses be introduced into the Small Birds Act compelling united action."

Mr Borrie seconded the motion.

Mr "Bedford said the best way to suppress the small birds would be to proclaim certain days during the winter when poisoned grain should be laid, with a penalty for any omissions in that respect. Then the Government would have to appoint inspectors to see that the poisoned grain was laid on Crown lands.

Mr W. Wilson suggested the formation of Sparrow Clubs, the members of which would forward to the secretary a certain number of sparrows, according to the acreage of their holdings, or pay an equivalent fine.

The secretary read some notes written by the secretary of the Selwyn County Council, pointing out—(1) that a uniform system should be adopted in the several road boards, boroughs and counties; (2) that inasmuch as the towns and cities constitute some of the chief breeding places, the boroughs should be compelled to assist in abating the nuisance; (3) that the poisoning of birds by local bodies should be made compulsory by government bringing clause 7 of the Birds Nuisance Act, of 1891, into active operation wherever the work is not effectually done by the local bodies; (4) that a uniform rate of reward for the collection of eggs and heads be adopted by the several local bodies, and that the uniform reward be recommended at 2½d per dozen.

The resolution was carried.