Furious residents have expressed their anger after a large number of birds were reportedly shot dead around Caerphilly Castle on Tuesday, May 14.
Carol Gravenor, who runs Caerphilly Bird Rescue alongside her husband Ray Gravenor, said that around 50 or 60 birds were shot all together, including seven of their own.
Cadw, the Welsh Government body which has responsibility for the castle, have yet to issue a formal response to the allegations, saying it is investigating.
Mrs Gravenor said: “There’s no need for these things to happen. I’m absolutely furious. I feel ill.
“One of the birds that was killed was a pigeon which we had looked after for a month and only released two days ago.”
The pigeon had a disease called canker, which Mrs Gravenor explained “stops them eating, drinking and breathing, which kills them”.
But after helping the animal to recover from the life-threatening disease, it was soon shot dead.
Caerphilly MP Wayne David has written to the Welsh Government asking for answers.
Mr David said: “I am very concerned about the suggestions that I have heard about a bird cull at Caerphilly Castle.
“I am also appalled that Cadw have refused to offer any statement or clarification about what has actually happened. Cadw is a public body and they ought to be straight with people about what has been going on.
“Today I have written to the Welsh Government asking for a full report about what has happened and why.”
Caerphilly’s Assembly Member, Hefin David, has contacted Cadw to ask if they are involved in the incident.
Cllr Jamie Pritchard, who represents the Morgan Jones ward where the castle is situated, said residents had contacted him about the incident.
Cllr Pritchard said: “To hear of shots ringing out around the castle for the alleged killing of birds is very disturbing. I’ve asked Cadw directly whether they were in anyway responsible and await their response. This is not something most people would welcome.”
When contacted by Caerphilly Observer, a spokesperson for Cadw said it was investigating and will be issuing a full statement later today.
He did confirm however that contractors have been carrying out “bird control” at the site over the last few days but did not know how this was being carried out.
Meanwhile, Caerphilly Bird Rescue have posted a picture on Facebook of a man they say shot the birds.
Former South Wales East Assembly Member Lindsay Whittle, who is a Plaid Cymru councillor for the Penyrheol ward, has also criticised Cadw for culling pigeons at Caerphilly Castle.
Cllr Whittle, a former leader of Caerphilly Council, said: “I was stunned to hear Wales heritage body was involved in the culling of pigeons at Caerphilly Castle. It is quite barbaric.
“Surely they could have taken measures as happens at every major airport to scare the birds away. I know birds of prey such as hawks have been used at the central library in Cardiff and at the Millennium Stadium and even Wimbledon.
“If the pigeons are causing a nuisance, surely a bit of commonsense could have been used to move them away rather than shooting them, which is totally unacceptable in my book.
“I can fully understand why the people that run Caerphilly Bird Rescue are so angry and upset at the killing of birds.
“I want to know what Cadw’s policy is on this issue – is it something they endorse and carry out on all their premises across the whole of Wales?”