MSPCA refutes the notion that pigeon culling is a solution

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MSPCA refutes the notion that pigeon culling is a solutionMSPCA said that it refutes the notion that “pigeon culling is a solution,” and is calling for “greater transparency and discussion on a pigeon management plan.”

In a statement the MSPCA said that some media recently carried a report in which the public was told that “there is a plan approved by cabinet to capture pigeons in order to feed them something that would result in a natural death.”

The MSPCA argued that it “cannot support the plan based on animal welfare issues because no information has been released about the agent planned to be used to poison the animals.”

It also pointed out that neither has any information been made public about the cages and equipment used to transfer pigeons around after they are captured.

“Knowing all too well how many poisons, natural and artificial, produce a long drawn out and painful death, without knowing the actual ingredient, no one should support the claim that it is going to be a humane affair,” stated MSPCA.

The Society went on to say that it would like to remind the government that “Maltese law recognises the sentience of all animals and calls for state to intervene whenever animal welfare is being threatened ”

The MSPCA said that it understands that a short-term strategy is needed to reduce the pigeons because of their detrimental effects on human health, heritage and property.

The Society added that it wants to see more” long term and intelligent solutions put in place before the short-term solutions are even considered and that then short-term solutions need to also be humane.”

According to the Society, “one such-short term humane solution is to build structures for nesting which would allow humans to remove the eggs, preventing them from hatching which was already proposed by the Commissioner for Animal Welfare in 2017.”

“Feeding pigeons is what keeps them coming,” said the Society. “If they cannot find food, they will move to other places and are very capable of flying out of Malta in a matter of few hours.”

It went on to ask, “how can we be talking about culling if we haven’t tried the simplest and cheapest solution yet? Why are we giving up on changing people’s attitudes towards littering before making a sincere and sustained effort to try? Why is culling (death) again being proposed as an answer, when time and again culling has been shown to be the least humane and least effective of all options?”

The Society argued that, “culling only makes it possible for more pigeons to move into the vacated habitat and will not produce the result the Directorate of Environmental Health is after.”

“Culling as a solution to a human-made problem must stop,” stated the MSPCA.

The Society also said that it would like to “hear the position of the current Commissioner for Animal Welfare given that his predecessor had made his position public against pigeon culling as the solution.”

The MSPCA concluded by calling on the Directorate for Environmental Health to publish the ingredients planned to be used to poison the pigeons.

File photograph

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    3 Responses

    1. Edith says:

      This is not culling but killing. Nesting structures and birth control is not only a human solution but the ONLY longterm solution to improve the situation for both humans and pigeons. Let’s not forget that these are not wild birds but mostly stray domestic animals, descendants of lost carrier pigeons, wedding doves, etc., forced to feed on not species appropriate food and considered flying rats. There are plenty of examples how cities in other countries took control over the population using nesting structures. (feel free to use Google translate). I hope that MSPCA will continue to oppose against this horrible solution.

    2. Ray says:

      Make them a protected species, they won’t last long then!

    3. Nigel Baker says:

      An interesting idea, Ray. I can just picture Valletta being full of ‘hunters’ one sunny Sunday morning taking pot-shots at bewildered pigeons and missing every one of them!

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