Tongeren city cabinet member for the environment Patrick Jans: “Tongeren, but also many other Flemish cities with historic buildings suffer as a result of the overpopulation of pigeons. In several spots in the city the situation is no longer tenable. It's getting worse and worse, because local animal lovers choose to feed the pigeons. Pigeon droppings on buildings and pavements are a dreadful nuisance."
As the problem is not only limited to Tongeren, the city could become a trailblazer. City cabinet member Jans explains how Tongeren is setting to work;
"We're setting volunteers to work. Every day at the same hour they will feed the pigeons using especially treated maize. The maize is not detrimental to the pigeon's health. It just ensures that dominant pigeons - the ones that turn up first to feed - become sterile. There is no further propagation. No embryo pops out of the eggs that are laid. As a result the Tongeren pigeon population will fall."
Fortunately this prize bird is safe!