Blankenberge is following the example of Tongeren in Limburg that put pigeons on the pill a year ago. Vet Pieter Colla explains that Tongeren's pigeon population has been cut by a third in only twelve months. The challenge posed by seagulls is greater than that posed by pigeons as these birds come from further afield and don't dine together at the same time and on the same spot.
Pieter Colla: "If we manage to get the birds to eat the birth control pill regularly it will work! The drug ensures that the birds' eggs are all mixed up, the yoke and the white of the egg. Consequently, the gulls are unable to procreate”.
Pieter Colla now intends to spend some time in Blankenberge identifying breeding and eating areas and counting the number of gulls. Italians from the pharmaceutical company that produces the pill fed to pigeons on St Mark's Square in Venice are also coming.