Activists react to pigeon being shot in Cork courthouse

Activists react to pigeon being shot in Cork courthouse

Animal rights activists are in a flap after confirmation that a trapped pigeon was shot where Cork’s legal eagles dare, writes Eoin English.

The Irish Courts Service confirmed an animal control expert had to use an air pellet gun to shoot the bird when it became distressed, after spending several hours trapped in the dome area inside the city’s main courthouse building on Washington St.

John Carmody, of the Animal Rights Action Network, described it as a very sad situation which could have been prevented.

“I think it was a lazy, cruel thing to do, to shoot this animal down,” he told The Opinion Line on Cork’s 96FM.

“There are always other options. There was no way that poor bird had to be blasted out of it. Pigeons are clean, highly sociable animals, they are complex and intelligent animals.”

It’s understood the bird became trapped in the building late one evening last week, and was discovered by courts staff the following morning.

A spokesman for the courts service said the pigeon positioned itself around the dome of the building, over the court’s main public area, for the entire day.

“The pigeon was suffering from being trapped indoors, and was not responding to any attempt to lure it down and out of the building,” he said.

“As the courthouse dome is approximately 60ft from the ground floor, it was impossible to catch the bird.

“The bird became distressed and an animal control specialist team were sent for. They had no option but to humanely use an air pellet to put the bird out of its misery.”

A spokesman for the CSPCA said: “We don’t endorse the shooting of any animal but in the case, shooting the bird was probably their last resort.

“It would have been quick and relatively painless.”

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