Pigeon 'birth control' petition gathers hundreds of signatures

Pigeon 'birth control' petition gathers hundreds of signatures
A petition to manage pigeon populations in Brussels through birth control has gathered hundreds of signatures. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of people have signed a petition aiming to "ethically" control pigeon populations in Ixelles by, among other measures, giving them contraceptive feed.

Signed by just over 600 people since its launch one month ago, the petition calls for strategic measures to be put in place in order to "ethically regulate" pigeon populations in the Brussels municipality.

"There are too many pigeons in the territory and the problem will not be solved without well-thought-out action," the author of the petition, Stéphanie De Jonghe wrote.

Taking the lead from cities like Paris, the petition says installing contraceptive pigeon houses, which render the bird's eggs sterile through a shaking mechanism, could be one solution the municipality could look into.

Additionally, the De Jonghe also suggests feeding the pigeons contraceptive grains, a measure which could see success as the grains are "too large" for other bird species to eat.

The implementation of such measures in other cities have seen pigeon populations "become stable in a matter of years," according to the De Jonghe.

The petition aims to bring awareness to the issue and to stir municipal authorities into action, arguing that the funds poured into these initiatives would cut back costs invested in other population control measures, such as pigeon-capturing missions.

Additionally, the petition also aims to call on authorities to better regulate who can feed pigeons by delivering feeding cards to responsible and designated persons, while more strategic measures are put in place.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times 

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