Tackle pigeon problem at hawker centres

I was at the Pek Kio hawker centre in Cambridge Road recently and, as usual, was greeted by the sight of pigeons on the floors and tables pecking away at leftover food.

This is a problem at not only this hawker centre, but also many others.

And at most of these hawker centres, these birds brazenly strut around among patrons and often fly onto tables with food even when there are people eating at the table.

Patronscannot leave their food even for a moment, to order a drink for instance, for the birds will quickly zoom in on their food.

These birds are not only a hygiene problem but are also potential disease carriers. They would be a risk in the event of another bird flu outbreak.

Bangkok recently highlighted this problem and is taking steps to eradicate pigeons.

We cannot wait till a bird-borne disease breaks out before taking action.

What are the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority or the National Environment Agency doing to ensure hygiene standards and prevent the outbreak of disease?

I am sure anyone with a scoop net would be able to capture many of the pigeons in just one morning as they do not fly away.

Perhaps the town councils can work out a scheme to give incentives for the capture of these birds.

Even if we do not capture many, hopefully, this will scare them away from people and food centres.

Lau Chee Kin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2018, with the headline 'Tackle pigeon problem at hawker centres'. Print Edition | Subscribe