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Outcry Ensues as German Town Decides to Eradicate Its Pigeon Population

Limburg an der Lahn, a town in Germany, has stirred controversy by voting to eliminate its entire pigeon population, triggering a heated debate between residents and animal rights advocates. Earlier this month, locals supported a referendum to cull the birds, citing extensive complaints about their droppings from residents, restaurant owners, and market vendors around the Neumarkt central square.

As of June 20, town officials were deliberating on how to proceed following the referendum results. Johannes Laubach, a spokesperson for Limburg, emphasized that there is no immediate timeline for implementation. "The resolution mandates a thorough case-by-case assessment before any action is taken," he explained.

Residents and business owners have voiced frustration over the pigeons' presence, prompting the town council last November to commission a falconer to manage the pigeon population. The controversial method involves luring pigeons into traps, stunning them with a wooden stick, and euthanizing them by breaking their necks.

This decision sparked strong protests from animal rights groups, leading to a petition and subsequently, the referendum. Despite opposition, Mayor Marius Hahn announced on X (formerly Twitter) that the citizenry had decided on a gradual reduction of the pigeon population over the next two years.

Limburg's approach has drawn comparisons to other German cities like Frankfurt, which employ birth control measures by substituting real eggs with fake ones to manage pigeon numbers. In contrast, Hagen is experimenting with a temporary infertility drug for pigeons.

The ongoing debate underscores the challenges and ethical considerations surrounding urban wildlife management, with final decisions pending further review by Limburg's authorities.


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