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PETA sends county email opposing poisoning of pigeons

Washington County is coming under fire from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals regarding the method being used to reduce the pigeon population at the downtown courthouse in Jonesborough.
Both Mayor Dan Eldridge and Purchasing Director Willie Shrewbury have been contacted by the organization, which opposes the county’s use of a toxicant to kill the animals.
“If they have a better solution, we’re all ears,” Eldridge said during the Feb. 2 meeting of the Public Records Commission.
According to an email from PETA Senior Cruelty Caseworker Kristin Simon, the “toxicants typically attack bird’s kidneys, eventually resulting in renal failure and death. This slow, torturous process can take up to several days. Because of this, many pigeons that are poisoned in one location are able to make their way far afield before finally falling and perishing in the yards of horrified residents.”
PETA also warned the toxicants pose hazards to non-target species, with cats at particular risk, and wildlife including birds of prey that ingest the carcasses of poisoned birds.
Most birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and violators face $15,000 fines if protected birds are even unintentionally harmed.
In addition, removing and/or killing will only backfire, Simon wrote. “A spike in the food supply results, and this prompts accelerated breeding among survivors and newcomers. You will see an increased population.”
To deter unwanted birds, PETA says the the key is to modify the affected area so that it is unattractive and inaccessible, and target food sources. The following methods were suggested:
Install anti-roosting products, such as bird spikes, slides and coils.
Install statues of natural predators such as owls and hawks, and sonic devices to further deter pigeons from roosting. Mylar streamers, flags and balloons work well to keep birds away.
Secure trash can lids with bungee cords, lock all Dumpsters, remove or cover any artificial sources of standing water, implement and enforce a strict wildlife feeding prohibition.
PETA respectfully requested Washington County quickly remove all toxicants.