Walking home from the bus stop late afternoon today, I spotted two officers from AVA (Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority) of Singapore at a neighbouring block which I often walk past on my way out or home. They seemed to be making some sort of inspection in the area.
After some hesitation, I decided to approach them and I am glad that I did. They were indeed there to look into the roosting pigeon problem which has become a great concern to me (and perhaps many other residents too) for many months now. At last, I knew that the authority is looking into the problem!
Many months ago, not knowing whom to approach, I raised this issue of roosting pigeons to NEA (National Environment Agency). I was then directed to an officer in my town council who told me he would look into the problem. Not wanting to be disrespectful to this officer, but I am not sure what had been done. I heard nothing from him since then, and all I could see is more and more pigeons around!
These are just some of the pigeons that come roosting around everyday. They are not only causing noise pollution but other more serious issues
Just look at how dirty this cement floor has become despite the fact that it has been renovated by the town council only very recently.
So, these pigeons are really a nuisance. They also can cause diseases (which can potentially be fatal) to human beings through their droppings or when they come in contact with diseased birds. Hence, this is a problem not to be taken lightly but needs the effort of the authority to resolve.
I told the AVA officers that one particularly old lady has been feeding the pigeons, and also wild cats, at the block in the evenings. I can’t be sure if she is there everyday but I often see her when I pass by in late afternoons or early evenings. I hope the two officers have waited and managed to catch up with her after I left.
Many may not be aware that in Singapore, feeding wild pigeons is an offence, and one can be fined up to S$500 under the Animals and Birds Act administered by AVA. It is not my intention to see this old lady gets into trouble with the law. Perhaps she has not realised that her action is causing more trouble to the residents , or perhaps feeding them has become a way of filling up a void in her lonely old age.
I hope the two officers have managed to educate and convince her from feeding the pigeons and cats again. Now that I know that AVA is looking into this issue, I will not be hesitant to call up AVA if I see her or other people feeding these pigeons again. Well, this is what a good citizen should do, shouldn’t I?
The real challenge is still to resolve the roosting pigeons issue. Then I (and of course many other residents) can walk past without worrying about getting these pigeons’ droppings!