Picture Credit: CEN/Vier Pfoten
These are the sick holiday snaps which show helpless pigeons slathered in harmful paint for tourists amusement as part of a money-making animal abuse trick.
Austrian NGO ‘Vier Pfoten’ (‘Four legs’) was alerted to the bizarre form of animal abuse by witnesses who spotted the woman colouring pigeons.
According to local media, the woman approached tourists at the Schoenbrunn Palace Park in the Austrian capital Vienna to have a snap taken with the colourful birds for money.
Images show tourists posing for pictures in the park while holding the painted pigeons in their hands.
One close-up photo shows a pigeon with a pink head, yellow chest and blue and turquoise wings and tail feathers.
Vier Pfoten spokeswoman Brigitte Kopetzky said: “This is a clear form of animal abuse. Eyewitnesses said they were live birds.”
According to the organisation, it is explicitly forbidden in the Austrian Animal Welfare Act to “tattoo or discolour the skin, plumage or coat for aesthetic or commercial reasons” with the exception of “professional identification measures” such as the tagging of sheep or other livestock.
The chemicals in the paint are said to be bad for the pigeons’ health, according to the NGO.
Eva Persy, the head of Vienna’s Animal Welfare Office, also criticised the pictures, saying that “the animals are unnecessarily manipulated to be used as a toy for supposedly funny photos”.
Persy added: “Pigeons are not tame. When they are passed from person to person, they freeze in fear. There is no place for animal cruelty in Vienna.”
Vier Pfoten asked Vienna citizens to be vigilant at tourist attractions and immediately inform the authorities when they spot the woman with her painted pigeons.