Birgu’s pigeon culling scheduled for Thursday evening has some people raging. Animal rights campaigner and TV host Moira Delia is leading the pack.
“I’m sorry but this is absolutely sick! I can never ever agree with this decision! Disgusting,” she wrote on Facebook about the activity.
She said the council wanted children to stay indoors not for their own safety but to protest them from seeing how inhumanely the pigeons were killed. She said pigeons would be covered in blood after being shot and would just drop to the ground “shaking in the middle of the roads”.
Delia said the local authorities should take a page out of Spain’s book instead. In Barcelona, birth control pills were dispensed to the city’s 85,000 pigeons to curb population growth.
The decision came after protests by animal welfare activists. The pill blocks the formation of eggs in birds and is expected to reduce the pigeon population by 20 per cent in the first year and up to 80 per cent in four or five years’ time.
Many people have taken Delia’s side on the controversy and many are planning to film the shooting spree and let “foreign media” know about how Birgu deals with pigeons.
One reader told Lovin Malta that she witnessed a culling in Kalkara last year when she was with her two-year-old child.
“It was horrible so it really stuck with me. They were falling to the ground half-dead, screaming. Kids were watching from the playground nearby. There were two shooters, then there were a couple of people looking for dead or half-dead pigeons and stuffing them into black garbage bags. Many pigeons were falling on balconies and roofs and didn’t get removed,” Martha Dowling said.
Though not everybody agrees that pigeons should be killed off in a different way and some have congratulated the mayor for taking action.
Meanwhile, MEP Marlene Mizzi said she’s on the case.
We’ll keep you updated if there are any developments.