Coronavirus measures

The City of Brussels has taken several decisions in order to best respect the measures of the federal government in the fight against the coronavirus (Covid-19). More info: coronavirus measures by the City of Brussels.

 

Feeding wild animals

It is strictly forbidden to feed wild animals in public places.

Feeding wild animals is prohibited by the general police regulation (article 35).

Exception

Feeding birds in freezing weather is tolerated (in a private place). Use a mixture of seeds for wild birds in a feeding place that is not accessible to pigeons. Because seeds are unsuitable food for nesting birds, feeding must be stopped at the end of March, beginning of April.

Why a ban on feeding animals?

Feeding ducks, giving bread to pigeons... it sounds nice but it can be harmful (to animals):

  • populations are increasing: the animals become lazy and dependent on people, they can spend more time on reproduction and natural selection no longer works, so populations are increasing.
  • disturbance of the ecological balance: these populations increasingly drive away other wild species and disturb the ecological balance.
  • human food is not adapted to animals: it is out of balance and causes shortcomings. Dry bread causes troubles in the digestive system. Wet bread swells in the stomach, causing animals to think they have eaten enough when they have not. This weakens the animals and makes them more susceptible to diseases. Some ducks become obese, develop joint problems in the wings and can no longer fly. It can even have an adverse effect on the quality of the eggs and the health of the chicks.
  • eutrophication of ponds and botulism (feeding ducks): bread that is not eaten rots in the water. This increases the growth of algae, which consumes all the oxygen in the ponds. Fish and water fauna die. That mechanism also causes bad odors and diseases such as botulism in the summer.
  • damage to buildings (feeding pigeons): feeding leads to more pigeons and nuisance. This includes the degradation of buildings by the excrement that is acidic due to the consumption of unsuitable food.
  • attracting rats: bread that is left in large quantities in public places has no time to be consumed. This rotten bread, unsuitable for consumption by birds, attracts rats.