Prince William
Prince William at the Illegal Wildlife Trade conference Reuters

The Royals have come under fire from an animal welfare campaign group for the "wildlife massacre" of more than 7,000 animals on the Windsor Estate.

According to Animal Aid there were 3,901 pigeons, 1,161 rabbits, 772 jackdaws, 325 squirrels, 191 crows, 159 foxes and 118 parakeets all killed on the Windsor Estate in 2013 under the premise of "vermin control".

Animal Aid say they obtained the information under a Freedom of Information request.

This comes just weeks after Prince Charles and Prince William made a global video appeal to protect animals threatened with extinction overseas before addressing world leaders at The Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in London.

Anti-blood-sports groups have also recently criticised Prince William after he spent a weekend boar hunting with Prince Harry and friends on an exclusive estate in Cordoba, Spain.

Kate Fowler, head of campaigns at Animal Aid, said: "The annual massacre at Windsor is without justification. Rather than looking for humane solutions, one of the richest estates in the country... would rather reach for guns, traps and poisons and obliterate animals who get in its way.

"What about compassion? What about sharing the natural world with the other species who live here, even if that means taking a minor dent in its multi-million pound profits?"

The Windsor Estate is owned and managed by the Crown. It covers around 6,400 hectares and includes Windsor Great Park, Home Park and contains huge forests, residential and commercial properties, as well as tenant farms.

A Crown Estate spokesman said: "Controlling wildlife is part of maintaining a balanced natural environment at Windsor. All our wildlife control measures are undertaken in line with current legislation and with our statutory responsibility to maintain the Windsor Estate as a Royal Park."

Animal Aid described the Crown Estate's reasons for killing wild animals at the request of their tenant farmers as "morally repugnant" and said it was "unscrupulous and unnecessary" to kill squirrels and foxes to keep foresters' happy and protect game birds.

Full list of wildlife killed on the Windsor Estate in 2013:

3,901 pigeons

1,161 rabbits

772 jackdaws

325 squirrels

191 crows

159 foxes

145 rats

127 muntjac (deer)

118 parakeets

70 magpies

56 roe (deer)

55 rooks

28 hares

9 jays

9 moles

3 mink