No poisoning of pigeons was agreed, Local Councils Association says of plans to trap the birds

A proposal to trap feral pigeons put forward by the representative body of local councils did not contemplate poisoning the caged birds

Wild pigeons in urban areas are a cause for concern for local councils
Wild pigeons in urban areas are a cause for concern for local councils

A proposal to catch feral pigeons using cage traps did not contemplate poisoning the birds, the Local Councils Association said on Wednesday.

It was reacting to the commotion caused on social media by animal rights activists who criticised the proposal because it would lead to the trapped pigeons being poisoned to death in the cages.

However, in a statement Local Councils Association president Mario Fava said at no point had the organisation discussed or agreed with a plan to poison the pigeons.

He said the association had issued a call for offers to engage a contractor to cage trap feral pigeons in the wake of controversies that erupted when individual local councils opted for pigeon culls.

Councils have since last year stopped adopting culling methods after the central government said it would step in to help them solve the problem.

READ ALSO: Maltese MEP condemns 'barbaric' pigeon cull

However, it appears a call for offers that was issued by the Health Department was retracted, leaving the council association to go ahead with its plans.

“We are in discussions with the Environment Ministry so that contractor would be given space at the government farm in Għammieri where to put the caged pigeons. The contractor would not be responsible for what happens to the pigeons at that point,” Fava said.

Feral pigeons are considered to be pests in situations where their population is not kept in check.

Fava the ill effects of pigeon droppings were discussed with the health authorities. A Cabinet memo from December 2017 referred to the risk to human health from pigeon droppings, quoting a 2010 study in Madrid that found 70% of feral pigeons were diseased.

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