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Pigeon-feeders in Vienna to be fined €36 as part of city's crackdown on bird population

The fine follows a similar measure against dog owners who do not clean up after their pet

Kashmira Gander
Thursday 22 May 2014 21:25 BST
Pigeons fly outside St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna
Pigeons fly outside St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna (JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)

People found feeding pigeons in the Austrian city of Vienna will be fined €36, the city’s authorities have announced as part of their latest attempt to keep the city clean.

Apparently stoked by food litter, pigeons have been breeding at a higher rate than normal. This has lead councillors to believe that there is now an excessive number of the birds on the streets of the capital.

The city’s authorities already hold the power to issue on-the-spot-fines against fly-tippers, or dog owners who do not clean up after their pets.

“Whoever feeds pigeons, feeds rats,” said city councilor Ulrike Sima, Austrian broadcaster ORF reported.

“Feeding the pigeons is misunderstood animal welfare. Food crumbs and other human food harm the animals. They get sick and suffer,” he added.

Pigeon expert Christian Fellner from the animal welfare ombudsman of Vienna explained that rubbish in the city causes problems beyond the pigeon population.

"Human food such as bread or rolls is unsuitable for pigeons. In addition, rats are attracted by too much food litter,” she told Kurier.

In addition to using fines to tackle the population, the city is using a special pigeon nesting site, where their breeding is interrupted.

At the nest,up to 400 birds are enticed with luxury pigeon food, but in the interests of population control, their eggs are replaced with dummies to stop them from breeding successfully.

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