SAVE THE PIGEONS OF VENICE, ITALY -SALVARE I COLOMBI DI VENEZIA

  • by: Irene Katsouri
  • target: The Mayor of Venice Massimo Cacciari and all decision makers in Venice, Italy
This is a petition for abolishing the new law in Venice (Italy) that forbids people to feed pigeons in the WHOLE city and if one is caught throwing crumbs to the birds is fined. The Venetian community has also ordered the killing of thousands of pigeons.

The purpose of this law is to reduce the number of pigeons in order to protect the historical monuments, but to reduce it by letting the pigeons die of starvation or by killing them is cruel and inhuman. The historical monuments could be protected in different ways, e.g. by fixing spines or wires on the buildings that prevent pigeons from perching on them and by cleaning the monuments regularly with water. Pigeons could also be fed with sterilizing medicines so that their number remained under control.

Regarding the common fears that pigeons could be dangerous for public health, expert vets (e.g. Enrico Moriconi, President ASVeP / Onlus / Cultural Veterinary Association for Public Health, Torino and Roberto Nisini, Superior Institute of Public Health, Rome) in their articles published on the internet prove that they pose absolutely no danger for public health.

The law against pigeons is based only on wrong preconceptions and a hatred for the birds which unfortunately is shared by many Italian people.
 
More than 25.000 pigeons are killed in the city centre every year and such operations cost around 850.000 euro, which could be dedicated to better actions for the improvement of life in Venice.

Moreover, the Venetian law against pigeons is 'illegal' as it is not in agreement with the national laws: 157/92 for the protection of wild life and fauna; 157/19 which only allows the control of wild life with ecological methods; and 189/04 that forbids all mistreatment and killings of animals. Also, according to the national laws, no city mayor has the right to exercise control over wild life but only the 'Superior Institute of Environmental Protection and Research' can intervene and only with ecological methods.

The target of this petition is to defend animal rights and abolish the harsh law against pigeons. This law is unfair not only to animals but also to animal lovers who are punished for having compassion for the birds and feeding them -in other words, for their acts of kindness and love. This is a law against PERSONAL FREEDOM as it does not allow people who love animals to practice their beliefs and express their good feelings toward birds. It is therefore against both ANIMAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS. The purpose of law is to eliminate evil, but instead of serving that purpose, the Venetian law in question incriminates innocent people and causes endless suffering to birds. In Venice there are not many trees and seeds so the birds cannot survive easily without the help of sensitive people.

Pigeons are the tamest and friendliest birds. They offer joy to many people, especially to old lonely people, tourists who feel welcomed by the friendly Venetian birds (which have been a tourist attraction for many years), and children who invite them to eat from their hands. Because of their innocence, pigeons are traditionally associated with peace and spirituality. During the world-wars they were also used for carrying important messages and saved the lives of many people.

These beautiful birds and the sensitive people who care for animals (which are weak and defenseless) deserve our help and support. The harsh Venetian law that is against animal and human rights should be abolished. At least it could be applied only in certain areas of the city where the monuments are concentrated and not in the WHOLE city.
We the undersigned kindly request the abolishing of the law in Venice that forbids people to feed pigeons in the WHOLE city and the stop of all captures and killings of pigeons.

To reduce their number by letting them die of starvation or by killing them is cruel and inhuman. The historical monuments could be protected in different ways, e.g. by fixing spines or wires on the buildings that prevent pigeons from perching on them and by cleaning the monuments regularly with water. Pigeons could also be fed with sterilizing medicines so that their number remained under control.

Regarding the common fears that pigeons could be dangerous for public health, expert vets (e.g. Enrico Moriconi, President ASVeP -Onlus- Cultural Veterinary Association for Public Health, Torino, and Roberto Nisini, Superior Institute of Public Health, Rome) in their articles published on the internet prove that pigeons pose absolutely no danger for public health.

More than 25.000 pigeons are killed in the city centre every year and such operations cost around 850.000 euro, which could be dedicated to better actions for the improvement of life in Venice.

Moreover, the Venetian law against pigeons is 'illegal' as it is not in agreement with the national laws: 157/92 for the protection of wild life and fauna; 157/19 which only allows the control of wild life with ecological methods; and 189/04 that forbids all mistreatment and killings of animals. 

The law against pigeons is unfair not only to animals but also to animal lovers who are punished for having compassion for the birds and feeding them -in other words, for their acts of kindness and love. This is a law against PERSONAL FREEDOM as it does not allow people who love animals to practice their beliefs and express their good feelings toward birds. It is therefore against both ANIMAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS. The purpose of law is to eliminate evil, but instead of serving that purpose, the Venetian law in question incriminates innocent people and causes endless suffering to birds.

Pigeons are the tamest and friendliest birds. They offer joy to many people, especially to old lonely people, tourists who feel welcomed by the friendly Venetian birds (which have been a tourist attraction for many years), and children who invite them to eat from their hands. Because of their innocence pigeons are traditionally associated with peace and spirituality. During the world-wars they were also used for carrying important messages and saved the lives of many people.

These beautiful birds and the sensitive people who care for animals deserve our help and support. Therefore we kindly request that you reconsider this harsh law that is against animal and human rights. At least it could be applied only in certain areas of the city where the monuments are concentrated and not in the whole city.

Thank you for considering our letter.
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