San Bartolomé de Tirajana this week began the first phase of a sanitation campaign to capture large numbers of pigeons, throughout various areas around the municipality from now until the middle of January.
The campaign, which is being promoted by the Department of Public Health, is being carried out using cannon launched nets, with operators from a specialist company, Flodesin, licensed for pest control in urban areas.
The first capture, in Parque San Fernando, was supervised by the mayor alongside the councillor for public health, who saw 46 pigeons caught with a single net shot. The campaign will extend to various points in El Tablero, Castillo del Romeral and Juan Grande where members of the neighbourhoods have expressed great concern for potential harm and annoyance caused by these wild flocks.
The Town Council say this is a necessary measure to control and reduce their numbers and prevent them from increasing, as these birds have adapted to the urban environment and flourish without predators, mating about four times a year and averaging 10 to 12 offspring a year.
“The main objective of this campaign is sanitation, because it is intended to prevent infections and lung diseases that [are known to be caused] by the dry faeces of these birds, carrying numerous parasites that can affect health”
In addition, these catches also have an environmental and economic character, as they are to combat the harmful and corrosive effects that these birds generate on street furniture and public spaces as well as on roofs, patios and balconies.
One of the factors that is contributing greatly to the proliferation of these “dangerous and pesky” pigeons is the ease of available water and food in the urban centres, especially due to food provided by citizens themselves in squares and public parks.
For this reason the Council asks for maximum collaboration and for members of the public to stop feeding the birds, pointing out that feeding of animals, that may be seen as pests, on public roads is expressly prohibited. In Article 15 of the Municipal Ordinance regulating the possession of animals, Article 16 of which also specifies that “general rules concerning all animals apply to pigeons.”