feral-pigeons-columba-livia-domesticachequered-plumageWellington’s pigeon population is out of control, and it’s time to look at contraception or feeding bans, inner-city residents say.

New proposals for maintaining verandas in the CBD require them to be kept clean of pigeon droppings. But the Inner City Association, which represents residents and businesses, said that was an unfair burden on veranda owners, and the onus should be on the council to control the birds.

“There needs to be some humane way of controlling the pigeons,” association president Geraldine Murphy said.

People feeding the pigeons is one of the main contributors to the burgeoning population, councillor Iona Pannett says.

People feeding the pigeons is one of the main contributors to the burgeoning population, councillor Iona Pannett says.

She suggested contraception, spread in bird seed, which had been used overseas to cull populations of pigeons, sometimes known as the “rats of the sky”.

She also raised the idea of a bylaw to forbid people from feeding the birds. “The more food they get, the more they breed.”

The association has called on Wellington City Council to tackle the problem, in a submission it made on the new veranda bylaw being presented to councillors on Thursday.

It was unreasonable to expect veranda owners to clean away bird droppings, when owners of buildings without verandas did not have to keep them clean, it said.

Building owners were already struggling to cope with the problem, by such methods as putting up spikes to deter birds, and cleaning away excrement before it became too encrusted.

“It can get quite solid, from what I understand,” Murphy said.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the control of pigeons was “one of those endlessly problematic issues”, and it was up to private building owners to keep their buildings clean.


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