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Dutch Declare War on Pigeons

December 22, 1998

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (AP) _ Peace on earth, good will toward men. But not toward pigeons, say officials in an Amsterdam neighborhood that has declared war on the ``flying rats.″

In a bid to rid itself of the pesty birds, the Bos en Lommer municipality has outlawed feeding pigeons and will fine anyone caught breaking the new edict.

The inner-city municipality will slap an $83 fine on anyone feeding the birds and a $139 fine on cereal distributors caught more than once.

The measure is the latest in a series of measures aimed at tackling the plague of pigeons in the Dutch capital. Earlier anti-pigeon plans have included poisoning their food and sowing it with infertility drugs. Neither has had a noticeable effect.

``We are getting more and more reports″ of pigeon problems, a city official told the Dutch daily De Volkskrant for Tuesday’s edition.

The official, identified only as G. Otten, calls the pigeons ``flying rats.″

``Rats carry annoying diseases and that is sometimes the case with pigeons too,″ he said.

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