Sliema’s mayor has stood firm in the face of angry Facebook comments over the town’s regular pigeon cull, arguing shooting down the birds is the only solution for a major problem in his locality.

“Many residents are concerned about pigeon droppings and that pigeons could cause lung diseases,” Anthony Chircop said. “This morning alone, three people approached me in the street to urge the council to clamp down on the problem. We don’t enjoy shooting down pigeons, but we’ve exhausted all other options and this is the only method which works. It’s a necessary evil.”

“When the government and the Birgu local council agreed to abandon a planned pigeon cull a few months ago so as to study alternative methods, we told them we would agree to try out any solution we haven’t tried and tested before,” he said. “So far we haven’t heard anything from their end.”

He said the cull is carried out with utmost care, with police officers and sweepers accompanying the shooters, the latter to pick up dead birds from the street. Indeed, he said dead pigeons seen on the streets of Sliema are unlikely to be leftovers from the culls but rather pigeons who would have died from natural causes or who would have consumed poison left by residents on their rooftops.


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