Pigeons aren't considered pests by the German law, Source: Depositphotos

This German town mulls killing pigeons by breaking their necks

This German town mulls killing pigeons by breaking their necks

Understandably, this has already stirred some controversy

A wild pigeon count at the beginning of 2023 concluded that there are about 700 and 1000 birds in the German town of Limburg. According to the local officials, this number, however, is too high and now its environmental committee is seeking to reduce it by a mass culling, which involves manually breaking the birds’ necks by a specially appointed executioner.

If you’re wondering how legal this is, given the current context of consciousness around animal welfare, you are not alone in this. It turns out that even the Limburg officials are not sure of the legality of the proposed pigeon control method.

Limburg is seeking a radical approach to bird control

Limburg is a town of 36,000 residents, located in the State of Hesse. Yesterday, the town council voted and approved, except for the Green Party, the recommendation to employ a manual culling method.

The way this would work is by constructing a special trap loft filled with food, where the pigeons can fly in but cannot fly out. Inside that facility, the executioner would then proceed to do his rather unsavoury job.

The town council argues that this radical method has the advantage of quickly, efficiently and cheaply capping the pigeon population to more tolerable levels. It contrasts with the so-called “Augsburg method” employed by another German city, which has constructed dovecotes to house pigeons but is also more expensive.

However, the German Animal Welfare Association criticized the city's plans, stating that this cannot be a question of financial arguments alone. Yesterday evening, a small protest formed in front of the town hall and the councillors were called a “gang of murderers”, according to Hessenschau.

Still, if the district veterinary office doesn’t raise any concerns – according to the law, culling should only be undertaken as a last resort – then Limburg will put up a tender to find its pigeon executioner.



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