The Cabinet has approved the recommendations of the Environmental Health Directorate to help tackle pigeon excretion and noise. The green light has now been given to the Association of Local Councils to catch pigeons and place them in large cages.
This initiative is the Rabat local council’s alternative to the shooting of local wild pigeons, a controversial tactic some local councils thought of to scare pigeons away. However, this was proven ineffective and the pigeons just ended up flying elsewhere.
The Directorate’s director Clive Tonna said the recommendations were based on practices already in place in other countries.
“You place a large, automised cage in a problem area, feed the pigeons for a number of days and allow them to enter and leave the cage at will, and then you turn on a setting so that the pigeon will not be able to leave it,” Tonna explained. “From here on, you can control and reduce the pigeon population in the area.”
Tonna said that the cage should ideally be checked on a daily basis so that any other birds caught in it are instantly freed
“Firstly, we must ensure that the trapped pigeons are treated civilly and properly and afterwards die effectively, and secondly that the trapped pigeons don’t get released elsewhere,” he continued. “We are in talks with the relevant ministry for it to provide us a place where we can keep these trapped pigeons, where they will then be given certain food that will allow them to die a natural death.”
The Environmental Health Directorate is also asking for people not to feed wild pigeons and to close off abandoned buildings in the locality so that wild pigeons won’t have anywhere to lay their eggs.