Save The Trafalgar Square Pigeons - Save The Trafalgar Square Pigeons
Our priority has always been the prevention of suffering. We therefore reluctantly accepted that bird numbers would be reduced, but made clear to the Mayor that we would only work with him to secure that objective if it was done in a manner that preventing starvation.
An agreement was arrived at whereby the birds were fed at 7.30am each day. The quantity of feed given is being gradually reduced under the supervision of pigeon experts who are monitoring the birds to ensure they do not suffer.
Pigeon numbers are determined by the level of available food. When food is plentiful, they breed three or more times a year, instead of the usual one, and numbers increase. The idea behind this scheme, then, is to give the birds as much food as they need to survive, but not enough to encourage excessive breeding.
As older birds die off, and others gradually learn to look elsewhere for a proportion of their food, numbers in the Square will gradually decrease, without harming individual birds.
Already, over the past couple of years, numbers have been reduced by over 70% in this way, and the Square is almost free of birds during the day as they search elsewhere for additional scraps.
The feed reduction was originally due to continue until October 2008, by which time the feed would have been phased out completely and bird numbers on Trafalgar Square would be comparable to any similar sized square any in any other city.
It was therefore with astonishment that we learned the Mayor was pulling out of the agreement and banning us from feeding on the Square, leaving the birds facing starvation.
We moved the feeds to outside the National Gallery, adjacent to the Square, an area not under the Mayor’s control. Unfortunately Westminster City Council, which does control the area, has now banned the feeding of birds here as well.