Luring pigeons into cages to poison them is an unethical way of controlling the bird population, the Democratic Party has said.  

"Other more humane methodologies are available, utilizing non-lethal substances that interfere with the birds' reproductive processes. Such approaches have been successful in European cities such as Genoa and Barcelona," said PD's Mark Zerafa, who heads the party's animal rights policy group. 

The PD statement comes in reaction to news that authorities plan to curb the pigeon population by feeding them death-inducing substances.

In the past, authorities have organised culling sessions in which the birds were literally shot out of the sky.

 PD said that such culling exercises were only short-term solutions, as pigeons from surrounding areas quickly filled voids caused by culls. 

"It is said that a country can be judged by how it treats its animals, so let us set a high standard," urged party deputy leader Timothy Alden. 

Rather than killing pigeons, cities like Barcelona and Genoa have tackled the problem by feeding them contraceptive-laced food, effectively stopping them from reproducing without killing them. 

Lisbon has gone for a different approach, building a purpose-built nesting tower for the birds, in the hope of stealing their eggs before they hatch. 

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