Henderson tackling pigeon problem - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Henderson tackling pigeon problem

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HENDERSON, NV (FOX5) -

A bird that can carry up to 60 different diseases is the target of a new law in Henderson.

The nuisance birds are all over the city, and the problem is growing.

"Right now we're probably dealing with 750,000 to a million pigeons in Clark County, and that number will double every four years," said Nephi Oliva with Nevada Pigeon Control.

With pigeons come pigeon droppings. Those droppings can contain diseases and do damage to homes. The city of Henderson has now added an ordinance which declares pigeons a public nuisance.

"Basically you can't do anything that creates an attractive [environment] for the pigeons," Dr. Gary Weddle with Henderson Animal Control explains. "This ordinance is directed towards the person that's attracting the pigeons."

For instance, if a neighbor leaves pet food out that is attracting pigeons, you may report that person.

"It'll be complaint driven; if there's an issue we'll come over and talk with them," Weddle continued.

The first visit will be a warning, but repeat offenders could be charged with a misdemeanor. That comes with anything up to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail.

Still, some say the ordinance won't be enough.

"What's really going to happen with that law is you're going to piss off a bunch of people with dogs in their backyard and elderly people who enjoy feeding them," Oliva said.

Oliva, who serves as director of field operations for Nevada Pigeon Control, says to rid the valley of pigeons, communities must work together. Oliva is pushing for a public authority, paid for with garbage and water fees, to handle pigeon reduction in southern Nevada.

Neither the city of Las Vegas nor Clark County is currently considering a law similar to what Henderson passed.

The Henderson Animal Shelter has traps it lends out for free to capture pigeons.

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