SINGAPORE — The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is piloting a new trial to control the pigeon population at Palmer Road.
The trial, which started in October and which will take a year to complete, involves feeding the pigeons a corn-based feed containing nicarbazin, a drug that functions as an oral contraceptive for birds.
It can stop female birds from producing eggs, but even if they are laid, they may not hatch.
The feed will be just another form of consumption for male birds, as they do not produce eggs.
According to the AVA, it will not harm other animals or humans if accidentally consumed in small doses. It would take 40kg of the feed to see toxic effects in dogs and cats, and 60kg for a child.
The pigeon population at Palmer Road has grown in recent years. Today it stands at around 400, compared to 200 in 2013. This has caused hygiene and environmental issues in the area.
The main reason for this population increase is members of the public feeding the pigeons.
The AVA has been taking enforcement action against feeders, and 13 feeders were caught at Palmer Road between January and October this year.
If the results are successful, the AVA said it may use the feed to control the pigeon population in other parts of Singapore.