Like many cities, Barcelona has a plethora of pigeons. No monuments are safe from their droppings and their numbers are growing steadily in the city center. Now, though, a solution has been worked out: contraception, which will spare many of the birds from being caught, and killed, in a culling program.
According to the Express, the contraceptive nicarbazin, also used in Canada geese population control, will be disguised in pellets at feeders throughout the city. The move is expected to greatly reduce the pigeon population – currently estimated at about 85,000 – within just a few years.
Before the contraceptives are dispensed, though, health and environment officials, alongside veterinary experts, will spend December through February taking a new census of existing pigeons. That way they will have an idea how well "the pill" program fares once it's launched.
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Multiple animal rights groups cheered the decision not to proceed with culling the birds, a tactic that involves gathering the pigeons in nets and then killing them. The Humane Society and other groups back the use of nicarbazin, in combination with other humane measures.
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