Feeding pigeons in Pune to be banned?

Pigeon droppings and feathers pose a health hazard to human lungs, causing lung fibrosis and other respiratory ailments. Now, corporators from Pune demand the Pune Municipal Corporation to formulate rules regarding feeding of pigeons in public places  

Feeding pigeons in Pune to be banned?

  • Corporators from Pune have requested the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to ask citizens not to feed birds as they pose a risk in spreading many respiratory diseases.
  • The issue was discussed in the general body meeting on Wednesday and PMC is now mulling over the idea to make new rules regarding the same.
  • Studies conducted by Pune doctors and doctors from other parts of India have found that pigeon droppings have become a major health concern in urban areas in India.
  • It states that exposure to pigeon excreta and feathers have a negative impact on human lungs.

Mukta Tikal, the mayor of Pune said, “We have discussed the issue. As there are health issues, we are thinking if any rules can be made.”

Arvind Shinde, a Congress corporator from Pune, said, “We have discussed the issue in general body meeting and have asked the authority to establish some rules so that citizens don’t feed pigeon, so that they are saved from being affected with diseases caused due to these birds.”

Dr Mahavir More, a Pune-based pulmonologist had recently conducted a study on how pigeons are becoming a major threat for chest related diseases.

The findings revealed that there are around 15% of lung fibrosis related cases being reported in Pune, out of which exposure to pigeon excreta and feathers are one of the main causes behind 50% of the total lung fibrosis related cases.

“There is not much awareness in regards with how pigeons can play a role in spreading lung related diseases. Due to a lack of awareness, many a times patients get treatment for bronchitis, asthma or tuberculosis and the main cause of exposure to pigeons remains untargeted. It will be good initiative if the PMC implements it,” said More.

“Pigeon dropping can be a very important cause for asthma but it strongly depends on the individual’s sensitivity,” said Dr Shruti Mani, a practicing Ayurvedic doctor from Thane.

In a study published in the Journal of the Association of Physicians in India (JAPI) last year, doctors from KEM, Mumbai studied the need for a National Health policy to reduce the suspended particulate matter (SPMs) and all the related factors in six areas in Maharashtra.

The study was conducted in Borivali, Andheri, Khar, Worli, Bhandup and Maravali. In one aspect of the SPM, pigeon droppings and its relation with respiratory diseases were studied.

“The main purpose of the study was to identify factors and triggers leading to respiratory diseases. Since every region is peculiar, they needed to be studied individually,” said Dr Amrita Athavale, main researcher and professor at KEM hospital.

SPM is a mix of particles such as vehicular smoke, dust, sand, nickel, lead etc. It lodges in lung tissues and causes respiratory problems which can lead to asthma, wheezing and many such respiratory infections/diseases.

“Pigeon allergens may play an important role in worsening asthma in certain urban environments containing many pigeons. Considerable amounts of pigeon allergen are present in some urban environments,” it further read.