Glasgow’s pigeon population is out of control and radical new measures are needed to manage their number, according to a city MSP.

A recent infection outbreak in a city hospital relating to pigeon droppings has heightened concerns over the health impact of the birds.

Two patients, a ten year-old boy and a 73 year-old woman, died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in January after contracting Cryptococcus, a fungal infection linked to pigeon droppings

Sandra White, Kelvin SNP MSP, wants people to stop feeding the birds and for the council to take action to limit the number in the city.

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Together with a campaign to educate people about the “anti-social impact “of feeding pigeons Ms White wants council staff to manage nests and remove the birds’ eggs to reduce their numbers.

Ms White said an ethical solution rather than a cull is required but action is necessary to stop a growing menace from too many pigeons.

Her idea involves urban pigeon lofts managed by the council where eggs are taken away and replaced with dummy eggs to limit the number of chicks hatched.

Ms White said: “With recent health concerns related to bacterial infections from pigeon droppings, and concerns from the public related to nuisance, slips and falls, and over-population, Glasgow needs a renewed focus on controlling the pigeon population.

“Cities across Europe are increasingly looking towards new methods that replace ineffective lethal culling with a focus on maintaining and controlling a small pigeon population, which can be sustainably reduced through the management of eggs.

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“At the end of the day, despite a concerted effort by GCC over a number of years to reduce pigeon numbers, these birds are robust and will thrive where there is food and safe dwellings. Our urban spaces provide an ideal habitat for pigeons and in turn all the problems that they bring; however, humane and effective efforts elsewhere can show a successful alternative for Glasgow.”

A Glasgow City Council spokeswoman said: “Glasgow’s pigeon population has not risen significantly in recent years. However, we ask the public to dispose of their waste, particularly food, responsibly, to prevent their proliferation.”

The Health and Safety Executive states that: “Breathing dust or water droplets containing contaminated bird droppings can lead to several diseases” including Psittacosis, a rare infectious disease caused by a bacterium called Chlamydia psittaci and Salmonella a bacterial infection that can cause significant diarrhoea.