A PIGEON cull will take place in Chester close to the canal at the end of the month, The Standard has learnt.

A resident going by the name of Donna Dolittle, who lives in the area of Wharf View apartments, posted a letter she had seen about the “massacre” on Facebook.

Written by the senior estates manager for property management company Premier Estates, it says that the cull will take place on Tuesday, July 30 at 6pm – or the following day if it is raining.

It will be carried out by Cheshire pest control company Pest Buster, who will use guns to kill the pigeons.

The letter states: “Pest Buster will be informing the local police that they shall be completing these works on the date(s) stated and they shall therefore be aware there shall be a legitimate use of guns on the development at the stated times.

“We would advise you to keep your balcony doors closed whilst this cull is taking place.

“Please be aware that due to the nature of the building, there is a chance that a pigeon could land on the balcony once shot. Please can you observe this and notify Pest Buster while they are on site, in order that they can remove it.

“Due to the population of pigeons on site, it is likely that a few visits will be required by Pest Buster, and details in relation to further culls will be provided in due course.”

Donna urged people to oppose the cull, which she describes as a “plan to massacre my feral flock”.

“We need to stop this,” she wrote on Facebook. “Please if anyone can help, emailing them, contacting Chris Matheson MP, RSPCA, local papers, coming with me on the day to blockade them...

“Please help me. I've fed these birds for years, they see me & follow me up the canal. I love these birds, they can't get shot!!!”

She has already amassed more than 2,000 signatures for an online petition entitled 'Stop Chester's Pigeon Massacre!'.

The Standard spoke to Pest Buster this morning (Monday, July 15) who confirmed they were in talks to carry out the work.

The company representative, who did not wish to be named or quoted directly, said an exact date had not yet been communicated to him but he was aware residents had been contacted by Premier Estates.

He also said the cull was entirely legal under the terms of his General Licence but would not go into details of what type of guns will be used.

The man said other bird-scaring methods had been tried at the site but with no success.

Both Premier Estates and Cheshire West and Chester Council have been approached for a comment.

The news has received a mixed response on social media with some upset that the birds will be killed but others describing them as a nuisance.

One resident said: “Omg this has just made my stomach turn surely we can protest this.”

And another bizarrely commented: "How awful, people forgot all they have done in world war 1 and 2."

A third added: “I don’t agree with killing in any form, but these pigeons have nested on my balcony and keep reproducing, it’s not fair to encourage them to be in an area that doesn’t affect your living situation but does others.”

And one woman said bluntly: “Good.bout time sumat was done vermin.”