Monday 16 December 2019

Bird avoids shooting by marksman

A Pied Wagtail bird reprieved after Tesco's plans to shoot it caused a Twitter backlash has been caught and released
A Pied Wagtail bird reprieved after Tesco's plans to shoot it caused a Twitter backlash has been caught and released

A bird which earned a last minute reprieve after supermarket chain Tesco's plans to shoot it caused a Twitter backlash has been caught and released.

The firm had applied for a licence from Natural England to allow it to shoot the pied wagtail which had been regularly spotted in the aisles of a branch of the store in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in recent weeks.

However, locals raised concerns about the plans to bring in a marksman with an air rifle to shoot the bird when the store closed last Sunday.

Nature presenter Chris Packham, who had called for the bird to be spared on social media on September 11, today tweeted: " Breaking News! The Tesco Wagtail has been caught and released by BTO (British Trust for Ornithology)."

Packham also posted a picture of the bird, which he referred to as a "renegade".

The BTO said: "Hooray! The Tesco wagtail has been found and released by BTO."

Following the controversy, a Tesco spokesman insisted shooting the bird had only been considered as a last resort after attempts to catch it had failed.

The firm tweeted it was "happy to liaise with BTO and explore other options".

Pied wagtails are normally protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act with anybody who kills one without a licence facing a £5,000 fine.

A spokesman for Tesco added: " Our goal is always to release any birds which have found their way into our stores, so we are delighted that the BTO and our team have been successful."

PA Media

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