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18/03/2016

When doves cry: Funeral, wedding craze a new menace

The trend of releasing white doves at weddings and funerals in the U.K. could lead to environmental problems and shifts in the country's ecosystem, according to a report in The Times newspaper.

Releasing white doves at funerals and weddings has become a popular practice in the U.K. with a number of companies offering such services for special occasions.

But there have been warnings that the doves that are not trained to return to their owners, their release into the wild could have unpredictable consequences similarly to the introduction of the grey squirrel which threatened the native and now rare red squirrel.

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According to an article in the newspaper, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said it had received a lot of calls "about the prevalence of the birds and nature reserves are reporting the sudden appearance of entire flights."

Citing the RSPB, The Times noted that "the common pigeon was domesticated centuries ago and bred over generations to produce the ornamental white dove. Now that a number are being released into the wild, it is unclear what effect the species may have on its relatives," the article read.

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