Feeding fines and birdie birth control
The politics of the pigeon problem continue unabated, as Trail council seeks solutions to the pest problem plaguing the city.
At its regular meeting Monday night, council saw a divided vote over whether to fine residents $100 for feeding pigeons in town, with the bylaw ultimately passing with two ‘nay’ votes (councillors Sean Mackinlay and Gord DeRosa voted against).
Mackinlay asked if the city has a similar fine for people who leave dog poop and whether any such fines had been levied last year, and was told the fine is $25, but is largely enforced by the SPCA and thus the city had not issued any such tickets.
The pigeon prohibition, however, will be the purview of city bylaw officers.
City of Trail corporate administrator Michelle McIsaac also told council the pigeon bylaw would apply to private property as well as public, unless the property owners are actually keeping the birds (up to a maximum of three pairs of pigeons or doves).
“I agree with you, there’s too many pigeons,” said DeRosa. “I just don’t agree with fining people for feeding them.”
Councillor Robert Cacchioni then remarked on the “incredible amount of time we’re spending on this,” and said city staff is looking at a kind of bird feed that would render the pigeons sterile – birth control for the birds.
City administrator David Perehudoff told council the feed is being used in the U.S., but it hasn’t been determined yet if it’s allowed in Canada.
“Staff are doing the research right now,” he said.
In a later response to a Champion inquiry, city communications director Andrea Jolly said resident concerns that this feed would also sterilize other bird populations are premature, as staff is still researching a range of pest control options.
“The City of Trail is currently waiting for responses from the RFP on pigeon control from several pest control companies,” she explained.