Careful approach to regulate animal population Will the city centre of Bonn get a dovecote?

Bonn · The Left Party demands a gentle regulation of the pigeon population in the city of Bonn. The model is the pigeon house in Bad Godesberg. The main committee will decide this on Thursday.

Michael Bongard regularly cleans the pigeon house at the Kammerspiele in Bad Godesberg.

Michael Bongard regularly cleans the pigeon house at the Kammerspiele in Bad Godesberg.

Foto: Nicolas Ottersbach

This Thursday, the main committee is to decide whether a pigeon house is to be built in Bonn's city centre. At the previous session, the left had requested this for the area between the Bonn bus station and the main building of the university. "In view of the high population of city pigeons, there is a great need for gentle regulation to alleviate animal suffering and also to reduce the not inconsiderable costs for the city and municipal utilities of additional cleaning costs and deterrence measures," Hanno Raußendorf argued. In coordination with the animal protection association Bonn and the Bonner Taubenhilfe, a proposal for the later care of the pigeon house should be developed.

The majority in the environmental committee agreed but only after the additional request of the SPD parliamentary group chairman Angelika Esch. The administration may enumerate the demands at the meeting on Thursday, of which damage and at which height cleaning costs are caused within the range of the Bonn center at all by pigeons and whether these damages could be compared to that time at the Godesberger theatre place. In 2012, after years of pressure from Godesberg businessmen, the administration had erected a pigeon house on the roof of the Schauspielhaus. The left now used this pigeon loft as a positive example of a gentle containment of the population in Bonn.

Jürgen Bruder, chairman of Bad Godesberg Stadtmarketing, replied to a GA request that he was no longer aware of any complaints from businessmen around Theaterplatz. "The pigeon plague has disappeared from the current complaint block." If the topic is also problematic in Bonn, "our example can certainly be helpful. Also the administration confirmed on inquiry that the enterprise of the Godesberger house had led to peace between pigeon lovers and opponents. The birds settled there would be cared for by the honorary working group for Bonn city doves, explained Kristina Buchmiller of the press office. This includes the exchange of eggs by dummies to contain the population as well as feeding the animals in a species-appropriate way. In addition, there is the cleaning of the nesting places in the house, where most of the pigeon excrement is produced.

Buchmiller points out that it is not known what human resources are required to operate a pigeon house in Bonn and that the administration cannot provide any personnel. What are the absolute requirements for a Bonn pigeon house? "Due to the extraordinary location loyalty of the pigeons, the pigeon house must come to the pigeons. This means that it must be built in the immediate vicinity of the place where many pigeons live," the administration says. The site had to be protected from vandalism and could be approached at any time by the carers. In addition, electricity, water and storage capacities should be available. And last but not least, there must be acceptance on the part of the neighbourhood. In its statement for the committees, the administration had also pointed out that structural aspects also had to be taken into account in the site investigations, for which planning funds amounting to around 20,000 Euro had to be budgeted.

Original text: Ebba Hagenberg-Miliu

Translation: Mareike Graepel

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