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article imagePigeons are, or have, a big problem in Vienna, Austria

By Anne Sewell     May 20, 2014 in World
Vienna - It seems that the city of Vienna has a problem with pigeons, or is it the pigeons that now have a problem with the city? Anyhow, if you feed a pigeon in Vienna you will now face a fine of 36 euros for your efforts.
Digital Journal recently reported on the "Waste-Watchers" that have been employed in Vienna to monitor naughty dog owners who neglect to pick up the poop. Now the city is going one step further and targeting the poor pigeons.
City management reckons there are too many pigeons in the city and they have even compared the birds to vermin, with city councilor Ulrike Sima stating that "Whoever feeds pigeons, feeds rats." Sima added that feeding pigeons is "misunderstood animal welfare." She said that human food and bread crumbs are actually bad for the birds and that "they get sick and suffer." OK, and the mention of rats actually means that any bread left over by the birds attracts the vermin.
"We live in a big city, but there is already limited green space," she added, saying that this should not be rendered unusable due to the pigeons.
It seems the pigeons are breeding beyond all expectations and there is now an excess number of the birds hanging (and flying) around in the city. In the meantime a poster campaign has been launched to warn the general public on the dangers (and expense) of feeding the poor birds.
Experts in the city are coming up with some ideas, however, on how to reduce the population by setting up a special nesting site for the birds. Apparently this site will attract the birds using what they term "pigeon psychology."
The new fancy site will house up to 400 pigeons who will be fed the appropriate food. All well and good. But in return for their life of luxury, the pigeons' eggs will be taken from the nests and replaced with dummies, thus preventing them from breeding.
The Local brought up another solution that Vienna could possibly try, by publishing the 1959 classic by American humorist and singer, Tom Lehrer, titled "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park," included above for your edification.
German language sources:
Wiener Zeitung
ORF Radio
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