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Re. the article Keeping the Birds at Bay (AJ Specification, April 2006). The Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS) provides professional consultancy services and advises on aspects of bird control worldwide. It is recommended by the RSPCA, the RSPB and many other agencies worldwide, and is the only organisation of its type providing independent non-commercially biased advice on all aspects of bird control.

In many cases huge sums of money can be saved, and indeed the architectural integrity of a building or site be maintained, by working with the architect at the design/planning stage to ensure the site will offer few if any bird occupancy opportunities. Many of the deterrents available are costly to install, far from aesthetically pleasing and have a very short lifespan, in some cases only a matter of months. PiCAS will work with the architect to reduce the need for retrospective controls of any type.

PiCAS also specialises in providing control mechanisms for listed buildings and ancient monuments, working closely with English Heritage and local authority listed buildings/planning officers. Too many pest-control companies compromise Listed Buildings regulations due to lack of knowledge of this complex and sensitive area of operation. The products recommended by the author of your piece on bird control (i. e. spring-wire systems) have in our experience severely compromised the fabric of a considerable number of listed buildings - Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, to name but one. And the use of a bird of prey as a bird scarer, also mentioned in your piece, is not only expensive but totally ineffective as a control option.

I would also like to add that PiCAS UK was chosen by the Scottish Parliament as sole consultant for bird control on the Scottish Parliament site in Edinburgh, based on PiCAS' wholly independent status.

Guy Merchant, group director, PiCAS Group

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