Stop clipping ravens' wings

  • by: Krasnyy O
  • recipient: Tower of London, England

Dear Sir/Madam,

We are writing regarding the practice of keeping ravens at the Tower of London. We understand from your leaflet that the ravens' wings are clipped ("To prevent the ravens from flying away, their lifting feathers are trimmed"). We understand that the purpose of this is to unbalance the ravens' flight and prevent them from flying too far. We also understand from your site that only one wing is clipped ("Despite their having one wing trimmed..."), which is particularly restricting for a bird.

We feel that this is a very unfair thing to do to a raven. We also understand that one of the reasons cited for this is safety, but it is hardly safe for a raven to not be able to fly properly if they were to encounter a cat or fox. Ravens in towns also hardly need to be clipped for their own safety; most towns and cities have crows and ravens who thrive without any kind of human care or oversight.

We respectfully request that the practice of cutting the ravens' lifting feathers be discontinued. It is unfair to handicap them and is also unnecessary in order to keep a raven from leaving the area. Even wild ravens will keep returning to a location where they are fed. We understand that these ravens are otherwise well cared for, but feel it is unfair to unbalance their flight just as it would be unfair to unbalance a human's walking gait.


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