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Pigeon-poo plea: Stop feeding the birds

Dec 17th, 2009 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, Latest News, News


Pigeon-poo problem: Whitireia student Fetu Tamapeau is not impressed.

PEOPLE annoyed at finding pigeon droppings around central Wellington are calling on the public not to feed the birds.

The Whitireia Community Polytechnic campus in Cuba St has been badly hit by pigeon droppings in the past year.

A mass of pigeon droppings has piled up on the window ledge of one of the lecture rooms at the campus.

Whitireia city campus operations manager Alan Palmer says the council has cleaned the balconies in the past, but they just end up messy again within days.

“It’s obviously a problem, but dealing with it is another matter.”

Mr Palmer says the institution could go to the landlord or the body corporate, but he says it would be pointless because, unless people stop feeding the pigeons, they will continue to make a mess everywhere.

Wellington City Council’s environment committee chairperson, Celia Wade-Brown, says there is a new bylaw that makes it a fineable offence under the Local Government Act to feed animals in a way that causes a nuisance.

“So we are trying to reduce the cause of the problem.”

The council last year considered killing some of the birds, but decided against it. An ongoing city-wide cull – or putting in place non-lethal population-control measures – would cost up to $100,000 a year.

Ms Wade-Brown says if there is ever a culling of pigeons, it must be done without cruelty to the birds.

“Pest or animal, death must be humane. For example, rats and possums are killed using bait stations.”

Communications manager Richard MacLean says the council will not rule out killing pigeons in the future but culling the birds may not be worth the effort.

“The main problem is that culling is very expensive and not guaranteed to put a significant dent in the pigeon population as they are quite prolific breeders,” he says.

The Wellington Anti-Cull Coalition says killing pigeons is inhumane and does not work.

“We think that they can be reduced by non-lethal means and should be, if humane and permanent solutions are sought,” the group’s website says.

Some ideas the council had to cull the pigeon population included shooting the birds or netting/trapping them.

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is a Whitireia Journalism graduate who loves writing, computers, cooking reading and creating controversy, something she did frequently during her time at Whitireia.
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