People often hear about PETA’s “big” victories for animals—such as how Donna Karan dropped fur from her collections—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, as a result of pressure from PETA, government officials in Ohio agreed to cancel plans to poison the pigeons who had made their homes near the county courthouse. The original plan was to serve up feeders full of poisoned birdseed to the unsuspecting pigeons. Messed up, right? Good thing we stepped in, because—thanks to our efforts—they’ll be researching more humane methods.
The poison would have sent birds into convulsions, made them disoriented, and caused them to suffer for hours before dying. Poison is indiscriminate—any bird could ingest it. And the dead birds’ bodies would also have posed a hazard to other animals, including cats, dogs, and birds of prey, who might consume them.
Not only is poisoning pigeons cruel, it doesn’t even accomplish the long-term goal of getting rid of the population. Pigeons naturally maintain their numbers depending on the amount of food and space available. If 100 pigeons were poisoned, the surviving pigeons would breed more quickly to replace the dead members of their flock, which means that the population would actually increase over time. Case in point: These same officials had tried poisoning the flock in the past, only to find themselves with even more feathered friends in the long run.
Written by Lianne Turner