Muscat Municipality has prohibited residents and citizens from feeding birds, especially pigeons, in public places.
Signboards have been put up in many places urging people to avoid such practices.
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“Signboards have come up in places such as CBD, Al Khuwair and Maabela but people have not taken the issue seriously and they continue to feed the birds. While it may be on humanitarian grounds, those feeding these birds should also consider the reasons why authorities are saying not to do so,” said Patel who used to do so in the past.
Muscat Municipality recently raised concerns that the habits of feeding birds in public squares and places can adversely affect the health of people, the local environment, and the aesthetic appearance of neighbourhoods.
The municipality took a public opinion on the matter and nearly 60 per cent of the respondents agreed that ‘feeding birds in public squares and jogging walkways may pose a challenge to the environment and health in some areas where such practice is carried out randomly.”
While the habit of feeding birds in public squares creates an accumulation of grain and food residues in open places with time, it can also lead to bad odours emitted from these residues, and droppings of birds.
Feeding birds in places dedicated to walking can lead to inconvenience for passers-by apart from providing an attractive environment for insects, worms, and parasites.
The phenomenon of feeding birds in some locations near multi-storey buildings has led to situations where these birds take shelter in balconies, external lobbies of buildings, and external units of air-conditioners, causing damage.
Visitors and residents of buildings also complain of unpleasant odour of buildings from bird droppings or even interruption of some services due to damage to electrical and communication cables.
This situation can also affect the owners of the buildings negatively due to a lack of interest from existing and new tenants to stay at the property.