A pigeon control program conducted at the Abitibi-Consolidated mill here over the past three months has not caused any ill effects on the overall bird population, several sources told the Times.
Linda Wall, a supervisor with the Ministry of Natural Resources here, said she was unaware of any recent trend in sickness or death among large birds around town since the initiative began.
“We’ve not had any reports,” she said. “And we’ve been assured that those types of chemicals [which could be harmful] under the legislation followed by the [Ministry of Environment] are not being used.”
Likewise, Dr. Dan Pierroz of the Nor-West Animal Clinic here, said neither he nor Dr. Chris Cannon have seen any large birds injured due to any kind of poisoning since the program began.
“There’s nothing out of the ordinary that we’re aware of,” he noted.
Gary Rogozinski, Abitibi-Consolidated’s manager of environmental and governmental affairs, noted a few residents have inquired about the program and whether it might hurt other birds.
“We just explain to them what we’re doing,” he said.
“We have had a problem with pigeon waste getting into the ventilation systems. The ammonia smell can make you quite ill,” noted Rogozinski. “So we’ve had a company come in from Winnipeg to administer their control measures.”
Rogozinski said the qualified animal control staff have assured the mill their measures are meant to curb pigeon behaviour and not kill them outright, and is safe to other birds that might eat the pigeons, such as eagles.
“The chemical, which is put in corn, is supposed to make [pigeons] sick so they don’t go back to that area,” he stressed. “The nature of the chemical is that there’s no secondary poisoning.
“If another bird eats the pigeon, there’s no effect.”
The MoE’s pesticide division was contacted about secondary poisoning but was not available before press time.
The animal control company will administer the drugged food one more time before the end of the month, after which the company will monitor the program’s success.
“It looks like it’s working initially. But if it keeps them away for a while is yet to be determined,” Rogozinski remarked.