Animal welfare officials in Colombia have begun giving pigeons vasectomies as a humane way to keep numbers down in the capital Bogota.
The Institute for the Protection and Animal Welfare of Bogota (IDPYBA) announced that nine pigeons underwent the snip on 9th November.
Mauricio Cano, of the IDPYBA, said: “We continue to strengthen the research processes for the management of plaza pigeons in the Capital District, so far this year we have attended 880 pigeons in different parts of Bogota, more than 1,100 people sensitised in the care programme for this species.”
The Colombian Department of the Environment said in a statement obtained by Newsflash on Friday, 11th November, that “the minimally invasive laparoscopy procedure was performed on a group of pigeons with two purposes: to perform the sexing of the females and the vasectomy of the males, a fact that marks a milestone in the history of comprehensive care for these animals.”
They added: “The novel method for carrying out microsurgeries, which requires minimally invasive laparoscopy equipment, guarantees the rapid recovery of the animals, which lasts less than 15 minutes in the operating room with local anaesthesia.
“This procedure is a population management strategy for plaza pigeons and had an efficiency percentage of between 75 and 80 per cent on this pilot test.”
The Colombian authorities said that other controls allowed them to determine if the pigeons were affected by “mites, fleas, lice and flies” and to give them “an oral multivitamin to strengthen the immune system in order to counteract nutritional deficiencies that may be present due to their street condition, in addition to the application of products to strengthen their immune system”.
Cano said: “We will continue to be a benchmark programme in the care of this urban and synanthropic species, in order to promote their well-being and adequate population management.”