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Feathers Fly As Dutch Pigeons Get Turned Into French Pate

December 13, 1995

ZWOLLE, Netherlands (AP) _ City officials here come up with a novel way of ridding the town of troublesome pigeons: Feed them to the French.

By Wednesday, about 1,400 pigeons, more than half the downtown population, may be heading on a one-way trip to a French pate factory.

The birds were trapped following complaints from merchants that their ubiquitous droppings were defacing the city center.

``They are a nuisance ... there are too many of them,″ said city spokesman Jan Bleumer.

After being tested for disease, healthy pigeons will be sent to France to be turned into the traditional French spread of finely ground meat or fish, Bleumer said.

The incident has ruffled the feathers of animal rights activists.

``This is barbaric,″ said Peter Vingerling of the Dutch Society for the Protection of Animals. ``We have enough food. Those French, they eat anything.″

Vingerling said a better way to curtail the pigeon population would be to spike their food with contraceptives, a common practice in the Netherlands.

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