Hong Kong: Feral pigeon scheme launched

The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) today launched a two-year trial programme to feed feral pigeons with feed containing a contraceptive drug in an attempt to control their fertility.

The Trial Programme of Using Contraceptive Drug on Feral Pigeons is implemented at three spots in Central & Western District, Kowloon City and Sai Kung where the pigeons congregate.

These congregating spots are near Exit A of MTR Kennedy Town Station, Ma Tau Wai Road/Ma Hang Chung Road Rest Garden and Exit A of MTR Hang Hau Station.

A service contractor has been commissioned to feed feral pigeons daily with natural maize kernels coated with the contraceptive. Staff wearing reflective vests labelled "Contractor of AFCD" will post signs at the feeding spots to remind the public that the programme is underway.

The contractor will monitor the whole drug administration process to prevent non-target animals from ingesting the drug-coated feed and clear any leftover feed. Citizens should avoid approaching the spots while feeding is underway.

The active ingredient in the oral contraceptive drug is Nicarbazin. Overseas studies show that no obvious side effects are observed in birds after they consume the contraceptive and their fertility recovers after the drug is withdrawn.

In addition, Nicarbazin will decompose in the natural environment, so the impact on the environment is insignificant.

City University will be responsible for the scheme's data collection, study and evaluation. The AFCD will decide whether the programme should continue and extend it to other feral pigeon congregating spots according to the scheme’s effectiveness.

Call 1823 for enquiries.



This story has been published on: 2021-09-17. To contact the author, please use the contact details within the article.



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