Council requests licence to kill magpie after attacks on children


A suburban council is considering a licence to kill dangerous magpies after several swooping attacks on children last weekend.

Four-year-old Indi and five-year-old Finn have eye injuries after being swooped at Clarko Reserve in the Perth suburb of Trigg.

Two other children were reportedly swooped, including a 15-month-old boy.

Indi, 5, and Finn, 4, have eye injuries after being swooped by a magpie in a Perth park. Source: 7 News

On Wednesday, City of Stirling acting CEO Michael Littleton said an application to destroy the bird “was the right thing to do” because of aggressive and repeated attacks.

“We’ve got to look out for public safety,” he said.

On Thursday the council released a statement on its website confirming it had applied to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) for a dangerous fauna licence to remove the offending bird.

The mother of 15-month-old boy Max says he was swooped the day after Finn and Indi were attacked. Source: 7 News

“While the City takes an education first approach when it comes to safety around magpies, if there is evidence of ongoing aggressive behaviour from magpies in a City park or reserve, the City has a responsibility to investigate,” the statement reads.

“If the bird is determined to be dangerous or pose a serious threat, the City can report it to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) and discuss preventative measures, going forward.

“However, this is a last resort.”

The City of Stirling has applied for a “dangerous fauna” licence to kill the magpie. Source: 7 News

The DCBA is yet to undertake its assessment but would advise the council in due course whether the application had been approved, the statement reads.

The council said it had only applied for the destruction of one magpie and would inform the public of the outcome.

The idea of culling the magpie didn’t appeal to everyone, however.

“I’d protest about that,” one City of Stirling resident told 7 News on Wednesday. “They can’t do that.”

“They were here before us, we just have to keep out of their way,” another person said.

Signs warning of the dangers of magpie swooping season. Source: 7 News

With the application pending, the council reminded visitors to areas where magpies were prone to swoop to take precautions.

“The City places the utmost importance on the health and safety of its residents, ratepayers and visitors and has placed eleven signs throughout Clarko Reserve to warn people about swooping magpies in the area,” the council stated on its website.

“We would once again like to urge anyone visiting the City’s parks or reserves at this time of year to take extra care and caution, and avoid areas where there may be nesting activity.”