With Germany in its first week of full lockdown, animal rights activists are drawing attention plight of city-dwelling pigeons, which have a harder time finding food scraps in empty city centers.
“We can’t allow pigeons to starve miserably in this acute emergency situation,” said Lea Schmitz, the spokeswoman for the German Animal Welfare Federation, an umbrella organization for smaller local animal welfare associations, said in an interview.
“We not saying private citizens should run out to feed the pigeons,” Ms. Schmitz said. “We’re asking for expert-led initiatives to get special permission to provide appropriate and controlled feedings.”
Under Germany’s new lockdown measures, shops that sell nonessential items are closed, meaning that shopping districts — long the favorite hunting grounds for feral pigeons — are deserted.
Because pigeons generally stay in one place and cannot find food in surrounding fields or forest, as they might do in summer, they are at risk of starvation, unless longstanding city bans on feeding are temporarily suspended, Ms. Schmitz said.
Germany’s current lockdown is expected to run until at least Jan. 10.
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