2008-03-22 16:47:37 UTC
Dalrymple Street store.
The cheeky chirpers had been spotted in the store by a member of the
public who filmed them on a mobile phone, sparking fears the birds
could pose a health risk.
A Tesco insider has now revealed the sparrows were shot at dawn.
The insider said: They shut the shop at 6.15am.I saw two guys. They
had a long box and brought out what looked like a rifle.
I couldnt tell if it was an air rifle, or a real gun, but it looked
like a rifle with a telescopic lense on it.
I saw them shoot one bird and saw it hit the deck. The shop was shut
for about half an hour while they did it.
Ive worked in other places where birds have got in and they used a
net to catch them alive.
Wildlife campaigners have reacted to the cull with outrage.
Inverclyde animal rescuer Karen Wrigley said: If they had just called
us we would have been more than happy to come in and assess the
situation and help.
Its really important declining
species like this are kept alive if at all possible.
It would have been nice to have been given the opportunity to try and
get these birds out alive. Weve done it before in supermarkets, banks
and council premises, gone in and got the birds out successfully and
Sparrows are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, but a
loophole in Scots law allows landowners to kill the birds to preserve
public health or safety.
If the birds had flown into a store in England, Tesco would have acted
illegally by shooting them.
Sparrows have suffered a massive decline across the UK and are on the
RSPBs endangered red-list.
They have been known to spread salmonella and West Nile virus, which
can be fatal to humans.
A Tesco spokesperson said they were responding to complaints from
The spokesperson added: Rentokil was called in and the sparrows were
At the end of the day, sparrows are not endangered or protected.
All measures were tried to get the sparrows out in a nice way. In the
end it didnt work.
Rentokil do a good job. Its all completely humane. They are an
accredited agency. They were called in and that is the end of the
By Ewan Fergus
Published: Monday, 10th March, 2008 16:30
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Mar 11 08 03:30
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I was moved by the plight of the Sparrows and also appreciate that we
need to be clean and safe in our shops. However, killing the sparrows
was not a very
nice way to win over customers. I have written a wee
poem to capture that moment when a sledgehammer was
used to crack a (very small) nut.
POEM - Spare the Sparrows by Hugh Logue 09/03/2008
I trundled doon the aisles being a sqeaking barrow
catching me lugs were some broon sparras
for a place to perch they found a shop strange!
Sparras are organic - the shop said free-range
As God's creatures, be it lost or found
plighting roond the shop making a chirping sound!
having lost their way they couldnae get oot
they're no intae veggies or intae fruit,
If 'Every Little Helps' do sparrows hinder trade?
It's the Greenock West Nile virus - we must all evade
Our Sparras canny vector jist any disease
'Cos they wash every day - especially their knees
They are on them noo - begging for their lives
Don't ''stamp their cards' spare their wives
Freed to tell their mates - they shouldnae follow suit
Give them a chance - for they are kinda cute!
These wee creatures are on the straight and narrow
being heaven-sent it shocks us to the marrow
It wisnae bread or seed that brought them in
just the warmth of Greenock and their Kin
Fired frae Tesco's for stalking its shelves
With the Sparras deid, the shop pleases itself
Sparras have no vote, they really have no say
If God's a big sparra, it'll be hot on their day!