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California Town Bans Pigeon Feeding

December 1, 1994

SAN CARLOS, Calif. (AP) _ Put down that bread crumb and come out with your hands up.

Feeding wild pigeons is about to become a crime in this small town about 20 miles southeast of San Francisco. Violators face up to $250 in fines.

The City Council unanimously adopted the ordinance Monday at the urging of local merchants who say the birds are ruining city streets.

The merchants have invested thousands of dollars in anti-roosting spikes for their rooftops, new sidewalk awnings and repeated cleanups. Other cities may have similar problems, but San Carlos officials say theirs is worse.

″We think in part it’s because they’ve been fed and cared for,″ Councilman Tom Davids said. ″You see people at the outside (restaurant) tables throwing them food.″

When the new law goes into effect in 30 days, people will be forbidden from feeding pigeons on public or private property.

″The pigeons are not the cute critters you think they are,″ said clock store owner Fred Bausch. ″They call them ‘flying rats’ for a reason.″