‘Pill for Birdies’ in Leuven: it’s a success

Attempts to cut the pigeon population in Leuven, Capital of Flemish Brabant, have met with success.  Since the authorities launched the ‘pill for birdies’ a year and a half ago pigeon populations in some areas have been cut by half.

The cunning folk of Leuven mixed the contraceptive pill in with the pigeon feed.  Containers of maize were placed at key locations across the city including Leuven Station were there were simply too many birds. 

Leuven city cabinet member Thomas Van Oppens: “A year and a half ago we set out feed containers at four locations.  We’ve recorded a 57% decrease in pigeon populations in these areas.  We got the best result at Leuven Station where the population has been cut by 69%”. 

This being said Leuven certainly doesn’t want to get rid of all its birds.

Thomas Van Oppens: “Pigeons are part and parcel of Leuven.  However, it is necessary to cut the population.  I believe a halving is a good result and one I can be pleased with.  You already notice the difference in the streets.  There is far less bird mess and that’s a good thing for municipal workers who need to clean it up.”

The pill for pigeons is an animal-friendly way of keeping the bird population in check and has the support of the animal rights organisation GAIA.

“The pigeon population is being cut in an animal-friendly way” says Thomas Van Oppens.

The City of Leuven urges residents and visitors not to feed the birds!  It’s unhealthy for the birds and helps to maintain bird numbers.

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