NewsPigeon cull sparks outrage and legal debate

Pigeon cull sparks outrage and legal debate

Residents of the German city are fed up with pigeons
Residents of the German city are fed up with pigeons
Images source: © Getty Images | NurPhoto
Justyna Lasota-Krawczyk

26 June 2024 20:56

Residents of Limburg in western Germany are fed up with pigeons. In a referendum, they decided to cull 700 birds, but many people are criticising the voting results.

In November last year, the authorities in Limburg, Hesse, decided to get rid of pigeons in the city. Outrage from activists led to a referendum being held in June this year.

Drastic idea of the falconer

The press office of Limburg's mayor, Marius Hahn, confirmed in an interview with Deutsche Welle that "the population reduction method proposed by the falconer involves capturing the pigeons, stunning them, and then killing them by breaking their necks."

“It has been scientifically proven that this method is ineffective. We are horrified that during the election campaign, politicians from Limburg were distributing leaflets to households containing false information about pigeons, deliberately causing panic,” says Lavinia Michel, a member of the citizens' initiative "Stop Killing Pigeons".

Activists outraged, authorities wash their hands

Animal rights activists consider the project outrageous and violating the Animal Welfare Act. The city authorities, however, explain that the project will be carried out at the residents' express wish, as confirmed by the referendum.

The "Stop Killing Pigeons!" initiative also refers to a 2004 report from the Technical University of Darmstadt. It states that city pigeons do not damage building structures and are as harmless as bluetits, blackbirds, and other birds. It also debunks the myth that pigeons transmit diseases to humans.

Brussels is mentioned as a more humane example of dealing with pigeons, where contraceptive pills are added to pigeon feed. In Switzerland, on the other hand, an initiative to remove eggs from nests has been carried out, which has allowed the pigeon population to be reduced by half over several years.

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