CORNWALL, Ontario - Some city councillors want a pigeon bylaw in Cornwall that completely bars keeping the animals as pets.
At least three city councillors Tuesday night, Gerry Samson, Denis Thibault and Andre Rivette, suggested a bylaw being considered by city hall that regulates the pigeon keeping in Cornwall isn’t tough enough.
“I’m not going to support any bylaw that allows any pigeons in the city,” said Thibault.
Rivette was of a similar mind.
“I’m in the same pigeon hole as Denis Thibault,” he said. “I don’t think we should have these things in the city of Cornwall. If you want pigeons, go some place where they are not defecating all over cars.”
Samson wanted even more.
“I like the idea of gassing them," he said. "If there’s too many they should be gassed.”
But other councillors said the city is already home to thousands of pigeons that can’t be monitored at all.
City staff have suggested there are at least seven individuals who are registered pigeon keepers in the city. There's also others who have not registered themselves.
It's been about a year now that councillors have booted this political football around.
Most recently, in February, council deferred implementing a bylaw that would have set limits on the number of pigeons any one person can keep as pets or otherwise.
The problem is that while some people keep pigeons as racing birds for competition, others want them simply as pets.
The droppings from the pigeons have been linked to incidences of toxoplasmosis, a potentially deadly infection.
The proposed bylaw requires that hobbyists be members of a recognized pigeon keeping association and limits a pigeon keeper to 80 birds.
When not released in controlled numbers during competitions and the like, the birds must be kept in enclosures.
Towards controlling the wild pigeon nuisance, the bylaw prohibits the spreading of bird food on private property while allowing a measured means of attracting wild birds.
Pigeon keepers would be allowed two months to comply with the bylaw, if it is adopted by council.
Council will decide later this month on what kind of bylaw it will implement.