How to Help a Pigeon Trapped in Netting

Posted by 4 years ago | Permalink | Comments (38)

Pigeon Trapped in Net PETAThe death toll is rising. All across the country in public spaces – outside shops, at train stations or under bridges – pigeons are dying in pain after becoming trapped in netting designed to deter them.

Often, netting doesn’t effectively keep birds away, but it can cause them to become fatally entangled. As much as they struggle, the pigeons can’t escape in many cases, and, suspended in mid-air, they die a slow, agonising death from starvation or strangulation.

Seeing these animals suffer is extremely distressing – but you can take action to help them. You can do the following if you see a live bird trapped in a net:

  • Check to see whether there is any way that you can safely help the bird escape.
  • Report the trapped animal immediately to the shop, council or organisation responsible for the netting. It has a legal responsibility to release the trapped bird and prevent more birds from getting trapped.
  • Call the RSPCA’s Cruelty Line on 0300 1234 999, Irish SPCA Cruelty Helpline on 1890 515 515, or Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999. Give as much information as you can about exactly where the pigeon is and his or her condition. Ask that an inspector visit the location.
  • Take photographs as evidence.

For ongoing problems, such as places where you have seen birds repeatedly becoming entangled, in England and Wales you can also e-mail the RSPCA at [email protected], call your local wildlife police on 101 or contact the council.

Groups are campaigning to get these nets banned, but in the meantime, helping trapped pigeons is an example of everyday activism that anyone can do, and it really can save lives.

Another way to help these gentle, loyal birds is to join our campaign to end cross-Channel races, in which each year, thousands of pigeons perish, exhausted, alone and far from home. Send a message to Defra today asking for a ban on this cruel sport.


  • Carolyn Rumsby (Luckie) commented on May 28, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Please everyone sign my petition to get these nets banned. Time is running out for this petition.

  • julie blackwood commented on May 28, 2013 at 11:43 am

    There is already enough abuse of all of Gods creatures on this Earth who have no ability to defend them selves or speak out so we who care must speak for them. Stop this un holy trapping of innocent creatures please.

  • kathleen hetherington commented on May 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

    that is awful, but until you brought it to light i have never even thought about it. you go about your business & dont bother to look up to see if there are any pidgeons caught in these wires. i certainly will look now.

  • Marion L B Dill commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    PETA, thank you for raising awareness of this. This is a cruel way of deterring pigeons to take shelter. During my 27 years in London, I did a lot of pro-pigeon work and got to see what wonderful, intelligent, perceptive birds they are. Like any animal, they don’t deserve the bad press they’re getting and they certainly don’t deserve to be persecuted that way.
    Thank you for your hard work.

  • suzi commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    In Scotland you should call the Scottish spca on 03000 999 999. Suzi

    • Dan commented on May 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Thanks Suzi, will add it in to the blog post.

  • elodie commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    STOP THIS!!!!

    • christine maunder commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

      i am discusted at the treatment of birds and four legged animals they were here before we were so come on you horrible people give them a chance c maunder

  • Jacqueline Hunter commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    So sad.

  • Debbie Trindle commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    For pity sake save our birds they helped us in the war days. Why do you have to put this netting up? There must be other ways to benefit both the human race and the birds.

  • Mariette Eriksson commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Stop this its cruel

  • sue wadland commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Im absolutely disgusted animals can be treated in this way you ought to be ashamed of yourselves,

  • sue wadland commented on May 28, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Im absolutely disgusted the way you treat animals you ought to be ashamed of yourselves,how would you like to die in agony

  • kevin commented on May 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    oh man, if only there was millions of these animals in every city, oh wait there is. so how would you suggest we deal with this? maybe by smashing the eggs before they are born? or poison? these animals breed totally unchecked, and overpopulation is inevitable. then what do you do? will you pay for the feeding and care, out of your own pocket? because i dont want MY tax money feeding these flying rats.

    • Carolyn Rumsby commented on August 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Go and troll somewhere else. Your tax money is safe mate. This comment almost sounds like you are talking about humans ” these animals breed totally unchecked, and overpopulation is inevitable. “

  • Daryl Michael commented on May 28, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I think this netting should be banned, Im sick of seeing pigeons hobbling about on stumps because this netting has become wound around their feet causing their toes to drop off through lack of circulation, they must suffer so much poor creatures.

  • BEVERLEY REES commented on May 28, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    I am sick and tired of seeing humans thinking we have the divine right to make animals suffer because they do not fit in with some peoples idea of how the world must be. Stop using this netting and trapping these birds till they die a gruesome death.

  • Nikki Reid commented on May 28, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    This netting causes unnecessary suffering and should be banned!!!:((

  • Harry Taylor commented on May 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    At least make sure that appropriate netting is used that stops birds from dying.

  • linda mcgovern commented on May 28, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Ban please

  • riche commented on May 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    please stop this cruelty its a disgrace .

  • Becky holland commented on May 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    I agree this should be stopped and I am willing to see the petition

  • Dot Pleydell commented on May 28, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Understand they don’t want pigeons landing but find a more humane way of stopping them

  • Gejo Canovas commented on May 28, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    When I was little I used to enjoy going to the park to feed the pigeons, I still do occasionally. I love to see them flying around because they bring certain kind of warmth to the city. I do not understand why some people hate them so much.

  • sandra paulden commented on May 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    please stop using these the poor birds must suffer so much .

  • susan anne booth commented on May 28, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Pleas stop this cruel barbaric treatment of helpless birds imediatly !

  • Helen Ibach commented on May 28, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Please consider the suffering caused by these nets and find an alternative that causes no harm.

  • Darren Green commented on May 29, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Ban this netting now.

  • Katy commented on June 18, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I am against animal cruelty, but I do have a pigeon problem outside my flat/bedroom. They make a lot of noise, mess, fight, have sex, make nests and lay eggs mostly at 4 in the morning, I have tried a net not realising they could be so cruel, however they tend to find a way in and then stay for days. I would love a cruelty free solution to living along side these pigeons but they have become pests to.

  • Sherry Anne Golding commented on September 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm

    I told the RSPCA about a pigeon trapped and was distressed but they did not come out or do anything, the pigeon is dead now

  • bird netting commented on December 10, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    WOW,thanks for raising a very sensitive point, as it is really important to take major steps to make pigeon safe from getting trapped in netting.
    Just wanted to tell keep up the good work.

  • Fishing Nets commented on February 18, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    However, it’s extremely important that any netting is correctly connected and maintained. It is a universal problem with buildings to have birds trapped in netting that is not suitable

  • Rachel commented on February 28, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Please sign (UK residents) and share my new petition:

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