Uproar After German Town Votes To Wipe Out Its Pigeon Population

Officials said they were still considering whether to proceed with the results. (representational)

A German town, Limburg an der Lahn, has voted to exterminate its entire population of pigeons, sparking a fight between the residents and animal rights activists. The residents voted in favour of culling the birds earlier this month, in a referendum, according to local media.

The report revealed that the legal fight against the pigeons was prompted by innumerable complaints over the birds’ faeces. These complaints were registered by residents, restaurateurs and market vendors around Limburg’s Neumarkt central square.

On June 20, Limburg officials said they were still considering whether to proceed with the referendum results.

The report quoted town spokesman Johannes Laubach, as saying, “There is no timetable for implementation. The resolution stipulates that there will be another comprehensive case-by-case review before implementation.”

The residents and business owners claimed that they have been frustrated by the town’s pigeons for years now.

The report added that last year in November, the town’s council decided that a falconer should be commissioned to kill Limburg’s pigeon population.

It stated, “The falconer will lure the birds into a trap, hit them over the head with a wooden stick to stun them, and then break their necks.”

This decision led to fierce protests from animal rights activists and a petition for signatures, after which a referendum was initiated.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), DW added, “Animal rights activists are horrified that the cull is going ahead, while critics say that pigeon culls aren’t really effective since any remaining birds will reproduce, replenishing the population. Other German cities, like Frankfurt, rely on a form of birth control and replace real eggs with plaster ones to keep its pigeons in check, while the city of Hagen is trialling a drug that makes the birds temporarily infertile.”

After the referendum, Limburg’s mayor Marius Hahn said the citizens had decided “that the pigeon population should be reduced over the next two years by a falconer who stuns and kills animals.” On Thursday, the mayor informed a final review of the implementation of the referendum was still pending.


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