Friday, October 30, 2009

Birds shot at Changi Airport

Thanks to Chinky for sending me these two letters - Don't Gun them down and Heavy-handed about the sea eagles that are being shot by the gun club at Changi Airport. An earlier article about Changi Airport mentions that birds that arrive are scared off, or shot down.

I missed the original article and was horrified to read that the sea eagles (and presumably some other birds) are shot as a measure of 'last resort'. One wonders what qualifies as last resort. As Mr Owyong mentioned in his letter, if this is a 'last resort', then why is the gun club called in regularly?

Other airports have used computer modelling, mats that prevent worms from nesting on their grass so that the birds aren't attracted there (which I mentioned in an earlier blog post), working with biologists, and just about a dozen other different methods. Making the area inhospitable is probably the best first step to keeping the birds out.

I also fail to see how random shooting of the birds actually helps to improve safety. Shouldn't there be a better method in place than to get people in to shoot them once in a while? Also, it seems that there are better, more technologically advanced methods of keeping the birds out - why not employ these rather than low-tech point and shoot, which does nothing except kill birds? The gun club has mentioned that they cannot shoot some of the birds because they fly too high and fast for them - and tempted as I am to say good for the birds (which I will), it also clearly shows the limitations of the method being employed.

If Changi really wants to be a number one airport, then I certainly hope they come up with a better method of preventing bird strikes.


budak said...

here's what Seattle does:

Dawn said...

we must think alike - I have that link up too :)

Brad Farless said...

This is exceptionally disgusting to me since the bald eagle is the national bird of my country. -_-

There are so many other ways to discourage bird habitation around airports. This just seems like an excuse to be cruel to animals.

Anonymous said...

BTW, what is a gun club? It brings to mind of blood sports of bygone era. Sorry for ignorance.

budak said...

They are the same people who happily volunteer to shoot crows and other 'pest' birds, see

Singapore Community Cats said...

The gun club has a digusting lot of people who shoot birds for fun and are paid! A brother-in-law of a friend said he was paid $20 per carcass (a few years ago) hence they are more than happy to go around practising and being paid by taxpayers!

Brad Farless said...

You guys need something like this here:

"A violation of the [Bald and Golden Eagle] Act can result in a fine of $100,000 [USD] ($200,000 [USD] for organizations), imprisonment for one year, or both, for a first offense. Penalties increase substantially for additional offenses, and a second violation of this Act is a felony."

Summary and full text of the Act here:

Anonymous said...

It is this "culling" mentally of the people making decisions at MND that stubbornly resists being culled despite good evidence based humane methods available, whether it is for birds or the stray dogs and cats.
It is just amazing how they can arrogantly spit out their template reply that says culling is part of "balanced" approach.
We just wish we can wring HIS neck!

Anonymous said...

This is the same organization that organizes "Safaris" to places like Africa so that the members can go trophy hunting. Lets face it, these lowlifes use any excuse to gun down animals. Perhaps they enjoy the power trip from being some of the exclusive few people in the country to own firearms. Perhaps they feel heroic parading around with their rifles in public. Either way I have nothing but contempt for them.

Dawn said...

Brad - the sad thing is that apparently they're on our $10000 notes too!

Anonymous - if you click on the hyperlink, it'll take you to the gun club page. The link budak gave is also very informative.

Singapore Community Cats - I thought they were volunteers! This is especially as their website mentioned that this is a 'community service'.

Anonymous - I have no problem with people wanting to shoot skeet or clay pigeons if they really want to (which I see some do on their website). I do have a problem when they start shooting live animals.

The only thing I can see is that the number of crows killed has dropped dramatically - which I suspect has more to do with the crows just getting smarter. Will post an interesting video on just how smart crows are, next.

Anonymous said...

You need a lot of space (how much do gun club pay for space??) to have a gun club to shoot whatever. For that kind of privileges, the entrance fee (like golf clubs) should run into 5 or 6-figures and not a mere $2,000 & annual fee of $300 for a handful of individuals. I am sure most gun club members do not shoot defenceless live targets.
If the armed forces personnel needs marksmanship practise, there are shooting ranges. If shooting for another international medal, there are other sports that do not need space in SG. Shooting at defenceless birds is just disgusting - where is the fairness, respect for one's opponent and graciousness in sportsmanship?