MADRID — The Spanish metropolis of Cádiz will undertake what some may even see as a Sisyphean process: relocating 5,000 pigeons a whole bunch of miles away after a grievance that the birds are driving away vacationers from the terraces of cafes in probably the most visited a part of the southern port metropolis.
Carrier pigeons most likely date again to historic Persia. But beneath a plan introduced final month by Cádiz officers, the pigeons themselves can be carried: They can be captured and transported subsequent 12 months to a thinly populated countryside location in jap Spain. There, they’ll discover a new dwelling in a dovecote close to the city of Ribarroja del Turia.
The exile answer to pigeon overcrowding is being introduced as a extra animal-friendly method than that taken in different locations, the place pigeons are handled like flying rats to be culled or fed contraceptive drugs which will even be consumed by different species.
The metropolis will use “the most respectful and sustainable method” to preserve its pigeon inhabitants beneath management, Álvaro de la Fuente, the town official in cost of environmental coverage, stated in an announcement.
The metropolis got here up with the plan after Horeca, a regional federation of hoteliers, complained two years in the past that the pigeons have been menacing vacationers, notably in the town’s emblematic cathedral sq..
“When the pigeon gets hungry, it can get very forceful and often doesn’t even wait for the tourists to leave their table to go for their food,” stated Antonio De María Ceballos, a restaurant proprietor and the president of Horeca.
Horeca additionally argued that pigeon excrement presents a well being threat for waiters and different workers who’ve to clear pigeon-occupied eating and ingesting areas.
The threat, Mr. De María Ceballos stated, was confirmed final 12 months by a courtroom ruling in Catalonia that upheld the disability claim of a Barcelona tourism official who said that she contracted pulmonary fibrosis from exposure to floating particles of bird excrement while working in pigeon-filled city squares.
“Nobody here has anything against pigeons or other animals, but something must be done when they proliferate to the point of presenting a health risk,” said Mr. De María Ceballos.
“Of course,” he added, “we want to avoid losing some revenues from tourists, but this issue is really about whether we believe it is important to keep Cádiz’s image as a clean and healthy city.”
The city hopes to carry out the relocation next year. The 5,000 or so pigeons will have to be trapped and undergo health checks before they are transported and released in eastern Spain, about 375 miles from Cádiz. The hope is that the highly adaptable rock pigeons will be happy to resettle there rather than be tempted to make the return flight.
Mr. de la Fuente, the city official, is also calling on residents to play their part and stop overfeeding pigeons. He argued that fighting pigeon overpopulation can also helped avoid the spread of “other plagues like rodents.”
City Hall will distribute 3,000 leaflets about how to deal with pigeons, hoping to educate rather than fine its residents for overindulging the birds.
In London, under legislation adopted a decade ago, people risk a fine of as much as 500 pounds ($636) for feeding pigeons around Trafalgar Square.