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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear all, very sad news from Paris, France:

Giuseppe Belvedere, the pigeon man who fed and took care of a flock of hundreds of pigeons since several years in front of Beaubourg/the Centre Pompidou Museum, died in his van where he lived on the 12th of January.

Although he is famous on photographs all over the world, he faced lots of difficulties: he lost his flat and himself and the pigeons were facing lots of violence within the hostile neighborhood because he dedicated his life to the pigeons, who now are starving in the middle of winter without their protector.

PLEASE HELP! if people from all over the world could write a message to the major, to let know that the tourists visiting Paris feel concerned about the pigeons and the story of Giuseppe.

Sign the Petition
(the translation of the petition2 is below in a next message)

Thank you for the Paris Pigeons!

Photograph Fashion Building Street fashion Art

RIP M. Giuseppe!

82 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
translation of the petition: Sign the Petition

Petition adressed to the Mayor of Paris Center and councilers of Paris

Please respect the life of the pigeons of Beaubourg

Dear all,

I allow myself to send you this petition after the death of Mr. Giuseppe Belvedere on the night of Wednesday 12 to Thursday 13 of january, by the Homeless Assistance Unit (UASS), in his vehicle parked rue du Renard, behind the Center Pompidou, 75004 Paris. Hated by some people, regularly attacked by others, hunted, bruised, the 76 year old man died alone in the wrecked van which was his home for more than 10 years.

Concerned by the fate of the liminal birds, those who share our urban space, rock pigeons at the top of the list, he had made their protection and saving his life's work, and this at the expense of his own tranquility or comfort. For him there was an imperative for action towards those he considered as the weakest and most vulnerable beeings. One could condense his ambition in the desire to reduce the suffering, still far too present in this world of which he wanted to be the objective witness. Passionate scholar, it is probably useful to specify that he had nothing of a madman moved by some strange fantasy but had, on the contrary, proceeded with a rare senses, lucidity and sincere kindness.

Today, the entire city of Paris is mourning for this noble soul with a big heart, at the same time as the shame of having abandoned him to this battle which nevertheless concerns us all.

Beyond the memory that Mr. Belvedere leaves us, it is now up to us to draw the necessary lessons from this human drama and to ask ourselves, all of us, about the message he delivered to us, through his ultimate sacrifice and his unwavering display of universal empathy. At the heart of the problem, behind this drama, the very dividing question that arises is the management of the rock pigeon in our cities and more specifically here, in our capital.

The vicissitudes of life have also led me to rescue numerous wild animals in urban environment over the past 15 years and I have therefore had the opportunity to see very concretely the incredible difficulties linked to their survival through various groups and associations engaged in these actions (LPO, SPOV, Faune Alfort etc...).

I have, by extension, taken notice of the policy of the city of Paris on this subject and allow myself to recall here one of the main axes, namely: the ban on feeding wild animals, on which I would like to draw your attention. The current policy is justified, in particular, by the following argument that I faithfully report here from the Paris.fr site on the dedicated page: ''Article 120 of the Departmental Health Regulations provides that it is forbidden to throw or deposit seeds or food in public places likely to attract stray animals, in particular cats and pigeons. Contrary to what one might think, the wild animals present in the city feed independently.''

However, this last statement, concerning rock pigeons, is factually perfectly false.

Although there is no question of minimizing the difficulties caused by sharing space with these birds (dejections, soiling of public space) and that a will of "health" control is eligible, there is no doubt any longer that that this species is dependent on human beings.

It seems to me necessary to remember that this species is exclusively seed-eating and, by extension, totally incapable of surviving without finding itself strictly dependent on begging.

To claim the contrary is to condemn them purely and simply to a long decimation by starvation. Let's be clear and honest.

Let's not forget that the rock pigeon has been domesticated since ancient times by man, for various purposes and that its presence in the wild only concerns the last few decades. This animal is the product of several millennia of domestication and genetic selection by humans and only regained its ''freedom'' during the 20th century...

Like cats or dogs, it is illusory to imagine these birds will become imminently independent without human intervention (which would gain, without a doubt, in efficiency, to be organized in the most respectful and possible ethics).

it is important to consider these as domestics animals. As such, we cannot reasonably envisage cohabitation with this species in the same way as wit jackdaws, crows, swifts, blackbirds, starlings, ... This situation is very specific, and we have, in this particular case, a benevolent responsibility to ensure, all of us, to respond to it with a minimum of dignity.

Too many municipalities still resort to the capture and extermination of these animals, a method which, not to mention the expensive costs (via the use of private companies), is not only cruel, just worthy of another time, but has proved its inconsistency, providing no lasting solution in the medium and long term.

This is only about buying, for a short period, a semblance of social peace or about flattering, for the time of an election, the part of the electorate the more eager for brutal and immediate solutions, while the issues related to the protection and safeguarding of Living have never been so important and paradoxically so despised.

There are today solutions that would satisfy everyone, pro or anti- citizens, as well as the animals themselves. They consist in the installation of dovecotes as already used and in the automatic distribution of contraceptive grain R12. It is a recent alternative, free of estrogen hormon and without any consequence for the birds, the wild fauna and the environment, offering the advantage of requiring less maintenance and a simplified installation, i.e. a reduced cost, but which must however imperatively be accompanied by supplementary framed feeding, provided by a group of volunteer citizens, or by an associative structure. Ex: the municipality of Ixelles in Belgium has just adopted this principle to respect the animal welfare, at the request of citizens, and via the company Galluvet (www.pilulepigeon.be).

Feeding that should not be overlooked in any way and which only requires a small adjustment of the basic principle that is proposed. In the absence of feeding, the starvation factor does a large job of regulation at the same time and this is clearly not the desired goal. Better then the dovecotes.

These methods offer the triple advantage of bringing gentle and ethical regulation to these populations, of regrouping the flocks and providing them with healthy food, in accordance with their biological needs.

These devices, deployed correctly, on the basis of a fair and precise assessment of the situation, would make it possible to largely minimize the nuisances resulting from a so-called "invasive" presence of pigeons in the city, particularly sedentary and naturally not very adventurous as long as they have a enrionnement where their basic needs are respected.

There would be fewer birds in town and by extension less nuisance, but also fewer birds in distress. In summary, this would be a win-win solution.

You already know that the city of Paris has already since 2003, allowed the establishment of a dozen contraceptive dovecotes and we can only welcome this initiative.

Several studies, in particular the one carried out by the AERHO association (committed to the long-term ethical and sustainable integration and management of nature in the urban space) within the framework of the PIGEONS program, have however revealed that there is still too few dovecotes, not fixing the individuals enough, due to lack of sufficient presence and maintenance. In short, a public policy that is making progress but still needs to be improved to be fully effective.

The loss of Mr. Belvedere this week affected many people who shared his love for animals and many messages of support circulated on social networks, accompanied by a deep and sincere common will to mobilize.

It is now important to draw two facts from this drama:

- A greater communication must be put in place with the citizens for a healthy cohabitation between all, birds, keepers, residents. The repeated persecutions of which Giuseppe was the victim, like the repeated poisonings of which these animals are still victims today, are in no way acceptable and are at best a total ignorance of the subject, at worst, an uninhibited absence of humanity and civility which can only make us all blush with shame. The result, in my view, is the obvious moral need to communicate more with citizens about the nature of this species and to involve them further in municipal actions concerning wildlife.

I also draw your attention to the fact that the city could certainly count on the often voluntary action of the feeders who regularly defy fines and sanctions and that it would, without a doubt, be profitable to reconcile them with the official management of this subject. A large majority of them would certainly be willing to work within a legal framework if one existed, truly adapted to the concrete issues on the spot.

-While we can only welcome the implementation of a “Pigeons” strategy in the capital, it is now necessary to adapt these contraceptive devices in a more general and homogeneous way to all the districts of the agglomeration. With this in mind, it is important to clearly redefine which sites are likely to be the most concerned and to adapt the means deployed accordingly. Furthermore, it would certainly be desirable, in the common interest, to leave at least part of the management and upkeep to the most knowledgeable, specialist and passionate citizens (currently often relegated to private companies, strictly contractual and much more concerned with their profit than the welfare of the animals). The service will only be better, for a reduced cost.

This evening, dozens of these animals will wait in vain for the nourishing hand of the one who was their protector for so long, Mr. Giuseppe Belvedere. He saw in these birds friends and the permanent urgency of their distress. He understood our collective responsibility towards this species that we created and then abandoned, their right to life and paradoxically their vulnerability.

These birds, like the others, deserve a minimum of respect and certainly not the gratuitous release of hatred that too often accompanies them. Paradoxically, many people love these animals very sincerely. They see through this little companion of the urban landscape, a part of the "soul of our cities", appreciate the presence of a non-human and friendly animal in their daily universe and sincerely sympathize with the misery that they are done to them.

For all these reasons, since the list has to be closed somewhere, I ask you to consider the use of contraceptives as quickly as possible throughout the fourth arrondissement of the capital, to democratize their use as much as necessary and to authorize additional supervised accompanying feeding.

Starvation is not an acceptable response for these animals that we have put ourselves in this situation.

Contraception is the best and only reasonable long-term option.

The feeders will continue to feed, because not all of them will accept cruelty and indifference as the only guidelines. Pigeons will continue to be addicted because we have conditioned them to be so for millennia. And no small propagandist display at the entrance to the parks stipulating that they are perfectly autonomous will change that or solve the problem in any way.

Regulation by capture and euthanasia will not prevent the recolonization of sites, in the very short term, in addition to representing a totally dispensable brutality and causing a cost that will only benefit the exterminators.

And there will be other dramas like that of the night of the 12th to the 13th of this month, revealing a face of our community that we will certainly gain, all of us, not encouraging too much.

Many municipalities in France and Europe have already opted for an ethical and responsible alternative. I can only hope to see Paris quickly join, across the whole of its agglomeration, this new way of considering Living Together.

Providing a decent space for these birds is the guarantee of minimizing potential damage as much as possible, in a sustainable way, without doing them the slightest harm and keeping everyone happy!

Thank you for all the attention you will give to this citizen proposal.

Charles Ferry

(With Stéphanie De Jonghe for the example of the Municipality of Ixelles in Belgium)
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