SCORES of pigeons are being trapped in netting and slowly starving to death after a bridge was netted under a Ruislip train station.

Dead and decaying birds have been found trapped in the netting under the bridge at Ruislip Gardens station, and two birds were found with gun-shot wounds but Network Rail deny shooting pigeons to cull them.

Emma Haskill, director of the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (PiCAS) told the Times: "We get a lot of calls from people worried about the way the population of pigeons is controlled, and we come into contact all the time with the contractors, who have admitted they do shoot pigeons."

June Talbot, of All Sorts Animal Rescue centre in Northwood Hills, said: "I went down there to have a look and there was a pigeon just walking on the floor.

"It had been shot in the wing. It will never fly again, so I have taken it away and it will go to the rescue centre.

"Under the bridge there are lots of pigeons trapped in the netting, and you can hear them all in there trying to get out. It's terrible. There are ways of making sure the pigeons don't nest there, but this is just cruel in this day and age.

"How can they leave them there to die of starvation, or shoot them so they are wounded and can never fly again?"

One of the bridges is owned by Network Rail, and the other by Metronet.

Both companies deny shooting the pigeons.

A spokesman for Network Rail told the Times: "Network Rail have not been culling pigeons. We have not been shooting them, we are simply netting to encourage them to leave the bridge.

"The netting is done bit by bit so the pigeons can still get out before it is all completed.

"Some pigeons do go and hide and we make sure we carry out inspections before the final bit of netting is up to make sure there are none still hiding and trapped."

Metronet said they were sorry to hear a dead pigeon had been found under the mesh under their bridge.

A spokesman for Metronet said they would be sending someone out to check the steel mesh, and confirmed that to the best of their knowledge, a cull had not been carried out.

Ms Talbot said: "Somebody has shot these pigeons, but no one will own up to it.

"It is absolutely awful to see the pigeons trapped in there.

"They go in and they get confused and don't understand, then they can't find their way out. They are frightened and they hide, then they starve to death because they can't get out.

"None of this is a humane way of getting rid of pigeons."