The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is spearheading a campaign
to catch pigeons and has vowed to impose a ban on feeding them -
violators could be jailed for up to three months, face a 25,000 baht
($770) fine, or both.
"There's a risk to humans in places where there is a high
concentration of pigeons," Taweesak Lertprapan, deputy Bangkok
governor, told Reuters as bird catchers caught pigeons around him at
a public square.
Other cities around the world have imposed similar bans, including
Italian tourist favorite Venice where feeding pigeons is illegal -
but there is no threat of serving time.
In Bangkok, pigeons - often dubbed "rats with wings" - are often
found in crowded areas, including temples, markets and public parks.
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Taweesak said health risks from pigeons include respiratory
diseases, meningitis and bird flu.
"The most effective solution is to stop feeding them," Taweesak
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha this month ordered a nationwide
campaign to reduce the number of pigeons in populated areas.
(Reporting by Panu Wongcha-um and Panarat Thepgumpanat; Editing by
Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Nick Macfie)
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