Monday, May 16, 2016

Residents say that bird scarer is putting dogs off their dinners

Dog lovers say deafening bangs from a bird scarer are driving them and their poor pets round the bend. Neighbours in Blackpole, Worcester, say the noise nuisance has left them covering their ears while their distressed dogs will not eat their dinners, pace the floor and even try to dig holes in the floor to hide in. The disgruntled neighbours have described the noise as 'like the loudest firework you've ever heard' and say it also lets off a flash and a puff of smoke. Residents are uncertain exactly where the bangs are coming from, believing it could be a bird scarer at a local business or car showroom, possibly to keep seagulls away. The bangs, four or more at a time, tend to happen between 4pm and 5.30pm but can happen as late as 7pm.

Barbara Cooper, 71, says her 20 month-old Cairn terrier Oscar has been driven to distraction by the bangs. Mrs Cooper said: “It took me two hours to calm Oscar down the other night and he never ate his dinner. It has been making his life a misery. He was so frightened. Imagine the loudest firework you've ever heard. My sister also has a terrier which goes behind the settee and scratches at the carpet to find somewhere to hide. We don’t know exactly where it’s coming from but we can see a puff of smoke in the air when it goes off. It’s happening every day but doesn’t seem to happen in the winter. It has been going on for the last few weeks. I phoned up environmental health and they told me to provide a picture, a photograph and written evidence.

"Where am I supposed to get that from? A guy standing by the bus stop said he had already had two heart attacks and this nearly gave him a third.” Gill Graham and her dog Freddie have also been affected. She said: "I have to feed him before 5pm otherwise he won't eat. He just panics and gets himself into a state. I feel I can't leave him. He just goes to pieces." Margaret Burston says her Yorkshire terrier cross, Harvey, is 'terrified' by the sound. She said: "He tries to dig his way into the carpet to try and find somewhere to hide. You hear him scratching as though he's trying to dig a hole to climb into." Steve Webb and Jan Talbot have two Labradors, Dooby and Wallis, who have also been left distressed, barking constantly when the bang goes off.

Alan Newnes, 84, has a Dalmatian called Raffles who is also disturbed by the bangs. Mr Newnes said: "It's very irritating. I'm upset because my dog is upset. The same thing (the noise) happened two years ago. The bangs are incredibly loud. Nobody admitted they were doing it." A spokesman for Worcester City Council said bird scarers are used in agriculture but that the National Farmers Union has a code of practice about their use. He said that if the code is complied with, the council would have no power to take action. However, he added: "If one is being used in a non-farming location it's something we could investigate and potentially take enforcement action against. We would encourage people to report it to Worcestershire Regulatory Services."

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