I consulted Google on issue of vermin
Susan Richardson questions my use of the term 'vermin' to describe feral pigeons and insists that I am mistaken, (The Star, November 2).
She suggests that I might take the trouble to check with the RSPB who do not consider them so.
As a general rule I do “take the trouble” to check my facts, Ms Richardson, and in this case I recall that I consulted Google on the issue.
The general consensus so far as I could ascertain was that feral pigeons are indeed widely considered to be vermin.
It does not surprise me at all that the RSPB, an organisation not known for their denigration of wild birds, would take the view that they do.
Police probe launched after man armed with knife demands car keys from driver filling up at Sheffield petrol station
Car salesman must pay out over £13,000 after he sold a dangerous vehicle to a Sheffield customer
Sheffield United fans raise concerns about 'aggressive' Bramall Lane stewards as club investigates 'inappropriate behaviour'
Flockton Park Sheffield: Park taped off by police as officers carry out search
These are the most annoying things you can say to somebody from Sheffield - don't mention John Lewis
I am sure that many other groups, farming and pest control organisations for example, would take a different view.
There is no definitive list of animals classed as vermin.
Neither is there a clear legal definition of vermin in UK law, (Lord Whitty: 2003).
It therefore becomes subjective as to what is vermin and what is not, so we must consult the Oxford dictionary for guidance.
This defines vermin as “wild animals that are believed to be harmful to crops, farm animals, or game, or which carry disease”.
Pigeons would certainly qualify on the first count at the very least, and I feel sure you would agree with that, Ms Richardson.