Charleroi to feed its pigeons with contraceptive seeds

Charleroi to feed its pigeons with contraceptive seeds
Credit: Belga / Nicolas Maeterlinck

The city of Charleroi has selected ten pilot areas where it will place distributors of contraceptive seeds for pigeons in the next few months to reduce the birds' population.

This was announced on Tuesday by Alicia Monard, Charleroi’s Alderwoman for Animal Welfare.

A few months ago, the city commissioned a private company to carry out an audit to determine the size of the pigeon population, the places where the birds are concentrated, and the quantity of seed needed annually to ensure the success of the contraception mission.

The city’s animal welfare department used this information to decide on the locations for the dispensers and Monard earmarked about €100,000 from the city’s 2023 budget for the project. This includes renting dispensers, buying seeds and monitoring the evolution of the pigeon population.

“Contraceptive seeds are the most animal-friendly solution. We hope to see the pigeon population reduced by 20-30% in the first year and by 80% after four years,” said the alderman.

To be fully effective, however, the contraceptive seeds must be the pigeons’ only source of food. This will prompt the city to conduct an awareness campaign in the first half of 2023 to wean residents off feeding the pigeons.

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