Better solutions needed for Trail’s pigeons

Local resident responds to Trail's plan on controlling the pigeon population.

Now that the initial frenzy seems to have subsided some, perhaps we can talk about this issue.

Why was the bylaw passed, after having the spikes installed on the bridge to eliminated the “threat from above?”

While feeding them one day, a passerby remarked, “I hate pigeons!”

Fair enough, but that would have to be something for Sigmund Freud to deal with, surely not the reason for passing this bylaw.

On April 30, the City of Trail put out a “Request for Proposal- Pigeon Control Services”.

Some reasons are spelled out in it as to why these measure are deemed to be necessary.

The background information provided with the proposal starts out with; “The City of Trail has an issue with an overabundant pigeon population which is causing concern from the perspective of the human health risk as well as environmental issues and damage to public and private property.”

Who decided that we have “… an overabundant pigeon population”, based on what? What would be an acceptable number of pigeons? As is, it is made clear that not one will be allowed to live, this is therefore just window dressing.

As for the “… concern from the perspective of the human health risk”, very careful wording by the way, we have this, and admittedly not from an unbiased source but they do rely on good data: “The Disease Myth: The most widespread misconception about urban pigeons is that they are carriers of disease. Pest-control companies charge them with transmitting any number of diseases, but the truth is that the vast majority of people are at little or no health risk from pigeons. http://www.peta.org/issues/Wildlife/pigeons-amiable-urbanites.aspx

The question that needs to be asked is: How many of Trail residents have become sick because of the pigeons?

As for “… environmental issues and damage to public and private property”, I have no idea what environmental issues could result from keeping them alive and fed.

Nothing really convincing that I can see, I therefore suspect that squeaky wheels (all five of them, including the spare?) were greased. And that does not sit well with me.

The flock has not increased appreciably over the years.

We also feed songbirds and they reward us with their songs all year round, especially now in spring.

The city has many appealing features, fact is, we are sitting right in the middle of nature, if you will. Birds are part of this, pigeons should be and feeding them should not be punished.

Right now, in the summer, it is not that much of an issue, they might find some food. But come winter they will starve, it would therefore be more humane to kill them if this bylaw is allowed to stand.

I would like council to consider alternatives, a place where they can be fed, for instance. But by hoping for nature to take its course ie. “humanely” starving them to death, they are taking the cowardly way out.

Shoot them or allow us to feed them, but before you kill them, try and involve all the citizens, ask for their input.

Wilfried Heink

Trail