SINGAPORE: A total of 682 enforcement notices were issued for pigeon feeding offences over the past three years, said Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Sun Xueling on Wednesday (May 8).
She was responding to parliamentary questions from MP Lim Biow Chuan on the number of summons that have been issued to offenders who feed pigeons, and if there were other measures the ministry could introduce as deterrents.
Ms Sun said that the National Parks Board (NParks) currently makes use of measures such as the installing of cameras and conducting surveillance at identified feeding hotspots.
In addition, NParks also works with town councils to put up notices asking for information about feeding activities, so as to carry out enforcement operations in a more targeted manner, Ms Sun said.
Another important strategy is public education, stressed Ms Sun.
"NParks, NEA (National Environment Agency) and the town councils work together to educate residents about the environmental health and hygiene issues caused by pigeon feeding. This is done through advisories, posters and outreach events ... The community and grassroots leaders also help to spread the message," she said.
"Agencies are also working with the Municipal Services Office to develop targeted public education messages and materials."
The NEA also works with food centres and coffee shops in HDB estates to ensure good food waste management and enforces against littering, added Ms Sun.
Responding to a point raised by MP Louis Ng on not resorting to culling, Ms Sun pointed out that population control measures on pigeons are currently undertaken at the town council level.
"I believe that the town councils' first opinion is probably not to cull,' she said. "I think they have worked very actively with NEA, NParks to enforce, like I mentioned, littering enforcement on pigeon feeders. I think any strategy towards managing such local issues would include a variety of different initiatives.
"Culling is just but one part of it, I think people would much rather not like to do if they don't have to ... There are various other measures that we are looking into and trying out and indeed where effective, we will try to roll it out to different communities and see how we can develop a holistic solution towards this issue we face."
Pigeon feeding in a public place is an offence that carries a fine of up to S$500 under the Animals and Birds (Pigeons) Rules.