Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A Thousand Dollars for Feeding NYC Pigeons?

It could happen.

City Councilman Simcha Felder proposed Monday to ban pigeon feeding and impose a $1,000 fine on people who illegally fatten the birds, which he said excrete an average 25 pounds of droppings each year. Felder released a report outlining several other potential solutions to the pigeon problem, an issue that perplexes and plagues cities worldwide.

In London, Mayor Ken Livingstone has banned pigeon feeding in Trafalgar Square, closed down the official feed vendors there, and has sent hawks to infiltrate and scare the lingering pigeons. Los Angeles has begun a trial use of pigeon birth control, and in Basel, Switzerland, pigeon populations have been reduced by an approach that includes stealing their eggs and replacing them with fakes, fooling the birds into thinking they have reproduced.

What surprises me is that some animal welfare groups support this policy. However, the article does not indicate who they are.

Many animal welfare groups support pigeon control because of the theory that overpopulation is unfair and cruel.

This is a tough problem. It's true that overpopulation is cruel and unfair, but I also hate the thought of these animals slowly starving to death. We are the ones responsible for the problem in the first place. (European settlers introduced the domesticated pigeon to North America.)

Just another example of a human-created problem with no ideal solution.

Photo by Dottie Jo.

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