Pigeons getting killed at Paya Lebar Way: ACRES says 'culling is ineffective and wastage of funds'

Submitted by Stomper Anonymous

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A Stomper shared with Stomp another video of pigeons getting killed, in between Block 120 to 124 Paya Lebar Way on Sep 14 at about 9am .

This comes after a Stomp report on Sep 27 regarding a pigeon culling incident that happened at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4.

In the video of the Sep 14 incident that was taken by the Stomper, a pigeon is seen struggling on the ground before it was on its feet again.

A man in yellow is also seen sweeping a pigeon -- that was still moving -- into his dustpan with a broom.

He then picked up another pigeon -- that was also still moving -- from the ground with his bare hand.

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In response to Stomp's queries, an Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) spokesman said that culling is not a long-term solution and will only result "in a wastage of funds".

"Even though there are diseases that can be spread from consumption and direct inhalation of pigeon faeces, it is very rare and we do not know of any cases recorded in Singapore," said the spokesman.

"The possible transmission can be a result of poor hygiene and contact. Keeping food sources covered, windows clean and preventing direct contact from the faeces are some basic measures to prevent any infection. This should be done rather than culling.

"Pigeons breed based on food availability and they naturally regulate their population based on food availability. Approximately 90% of the pigeons die in their first year, mainly due to lack of food. However, mortality rates of adult pigeons are very low (11%). 

"Pigeons do not breed if there is insufficient food to feed their young. In Singapore’s case, pigeons get additional food sources from humans directly feeding, and improper food waste management. 

"When the food supply increases following a cull, pigeons will breed until the flock reaches a threshold to exploit all available food. It is estimated that there is a 15%-30% increment in the flock size over and above the pre-cull population. 

"Studies done by University of Basel, Integrative Biology research group clearly points out that culling is not recommended as a long-term solution, as it has no long-lasting effect on population size, but allows quick replacement of killed individuals. 

"Culling this way, without addressing the food, nesting and roosting site availability does not solve the problem and will only resulting in a wastage of funds year after year because culling has aggravated the problem. 

"The research and success stories from other countries place emphasis on education and enforcement components as a way forward.

"Culling is scientifically proven to be ineffective method and we also have to consider the welfare of the affected animals be it a pigeon, other birds, dog or cat. Other animals have also been affected by the culling.

"ACRES hopes that we can adopt more holistic measures that will address public concerns about the pigeons and measures that are humane, sustainable and cost-effective. We hope to work with the authorities to implement these measures."