Citizens' decision: "Too many" - Limburg wants to let citizens vote on killing pigeons by breaking their necks

A heated debate in Limburg is currently making national headlines: In the municipality in central Hesse, voters are to vote in a referendum in June on the future treatment of pigeons in the city.

Citizens' decision: "Too many" - Limburg wants to let citizens vote on killing pigeons by breaking their necks

A heated debate in Limburg is currently making national headlines: In the municipality in central Hesse, voters are to vote in a referendum in June on the future treatment of pigeons in the city. On Monday evening, the city council unanimously voted in favor of this approach, as a city spokesman told the German Press Agency. The referendum is scheduled for the day of the European and district elections on June 9th.

The Greens initially submitted an amendment in which they advocated directly foregoing the intended reduction in the number of pigeons by killing animals, the spokesman explained. This request was rejected by the majority.

This was preceded by a collection of signatures in which animal rights activists collected enough votes for a citizens' initiative against the planned killing of the animals by breaking their necks. The city council now had to decide whether to follow the referendum or to revoke its decision to kill the pigeons from mid-November.

Critics of the campaign doubt whether killing the pigeons is legal. The Animal Protection Act states: “No one may cause pain, suffering or harm to an animal without a reasonable reason.” It is doubtful whether the sheer number of animals provides such a "reasonable reason". You can also find a comment about this here on our partner site “Geo.de”.

In November, the majority of the city committee decided that the number of pigeons in the cathedral city should be limited by killing them. This was followed by protests by animal rights activists and the collection of signatures. A count had previously shown that there were around 700 pigeons in Limburg at the time. In order to implement a referendum, ten percent of Limburg's eligible voters signed the referendum; this was exceeded by a few hundred signatures with 3,310 valid signatures.

Melanie Leonhardt, co-initiator of the citizens' initiative, explained that it would have been desirable to repeal the November decision. But they are happy to have achieved the referendum and now hope that those eligible to vote will choose an animal-friendly solution. The aim is to continue to educate people until the referendum. The Limburg City Pigeon Project campaigns for birth control in supervised pigeon lofts.

The city spokesman explained that in the referendum, citizens could either vote not to implement the decision from November last year and to refrain from killing animals, which is what the “Stop Pigeon Killing” initiative calls for, or they could confirm the decision of the city council from November.

Sources: dpa / “Geo.de”

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