Monday, November 26, 2007

Protest Planned for Pigeon Feeding Ban Proposal - Friday, November 30th

Protest Planned for Pigeon Feeding Ban Proposal

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pigeon partisans are blasting back at a New York City councilman's proposal to ban feeding the ubiquitous birds.The New York Bird Club and others plan to demonstrate this afternoon in front of City Hall. They say pigeons are peaceful, gentle creatures. And they note that the birds served as flying messengers for American and allied forces in World Wars I and II. But Councilman Simcha Felder sees pigeons as pests. He says they excrete an average 25 pounds of droppings each year, and those droppings can rust steel and corrode infrastructure.Felder is proposing a $1,000 fine for feeding the birds, among other measures to try to trim the city's pigeon population.
Bird lovers are planning to flock to City Hall today to protest a proposal to outlaw pigeon feeding. The New York Bird Club and others say the birds are peaceful, gentle creatures. They also note the birds have even served their country as flying messengers for American forces during the first and second world wars. Councilman Simcha Felder says pigeon droppings can rust steel and corrode infrastructure. Felder is proposing a $1,000 fine for feeding the birds, as well as other measures to trim the city's pigeon population.

Where: Steps of City Hall, New York, NY Located within the small City Hall Park in lower Manhattan between Broadway, Park Row and Chambers Street.
Subway: 4,5,6 to Brooklyn Bridge - City Hall; R,W,N,R to City Hall; A,C,J,M,2,3 to Chambers Street.

When: Friday, November 30th at noon to 1.

The New York Bird Club and animal rights groups will hold a press conference and demonstration outside the steps of City Hall on November 30th from noon to 1 pm in opposition to Councilman Simcha Felder proposal to issue a fine of $1,000 to anyone caught feeding a pigeon.

reference: Councilman Felder's proposal

We feel the proposal is frivolous, inaccurate and lacking in merit, and is it coincidence that the proposal emerges at a time when there is new construction of high rise apartment buildings almost everywhere in Manhattan.

The proposal cites:

1. Overfeeding which encourages pigeon reproduction.
The Wild Bird Fund who rehabilitate the majority of injured wildlife (pigeons) estimate that there are approximately a dozen people in the metro area who feed pigeons regularly. When you consider there are approximately 9,000,000 million people living in NYC, this is an insignificant amount. There are no facts to support and it is erroneous to state, that wildlife will multiply solely according to their food supply; other factors such as safety, habitat and well being must be present as well, which are surely lacking in the pigeons' existence. Everyday they are faced with predators and danger such as being baited and netted, poisoned, maimed, and trapped both legally and illegally; not to mention being shooed away and regarded as garbage by the average ignorant person, and hawks released into the City for the sole purpose of killing them.

2. Disease.
See proposal: cases of civilians contracting diseases from pigeons or pigeon droppings are rare and the threat is often exaggerated.

3. Infrastructural damage to building.
Proposal is erroneous (see Minneapolis, Minnesota bridge). It was later established that the bridge did not collapse due to pigeon excrement.
CNN report: "In 2005, the 40-year-old bridge had been rated as "structurally deficient" and possibly in need of replacement, according to a federal database. The span rated 50 on a scale of 120 for structural stability in that review, White House press secretary Tony Snow said."
There have been no major incidents of infrastructural damage to buildings in New York City.

Pigeons co-exist peacefully in our city with people, are not predatory in nature and when feeling safe, will come to you and gently and gratefully accept a morsel of nourishment from your hand. Pigeons are gentle, sweet benign creatures who have helped us in wars and saved lives, and it is ethically and morally wrong to treat our fellow inhabitants this way. By enacting the proposal, the message to children -- who are New York City's future, is loud and clear, DO NOT CARE FOR WILDLIFE, DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE. Even if a child wants to interact with any wildlife, he/she will be reprimanded from doing so because wildlife is insignificant, unworthy of respect and a fine will be issued. Children will grow up to become callous and insensitive adults since pigeons will not be the only wildlife who will be affected by new legislation should it come to pass, because one will not feed a squirrel, sparrow or duck for fear a pigeon may join the flock.

Councilman Felder has responded to the outcry of pigeon advocates by saying that those who like pigeons should take them into our homes. I suggest the Councilman read up on NYC law since it is against the law to bring a pigeon into your dwelling, and pigeons are feral wildlife and should be treated as such.

The repurcussions of taking away New Yorkers' right to feed a bird should we choose to do so, is that other inhumane and meaningless legislation may follow, designed only to generate income for the City without regard to its wildlife, nature or it's people. The proposed plan is senseless and cruel, and the people respectfully ask that it not be permitted to pass into our law.

Please attend to rally and show your support in opposition to the proposal.


OmegaWolf747 said...

What happened with this? Was the proposal passed or what?

Anonymous said...

No, it has not been passed.