Dropping a breadcrumb could get you arrested in Chicago

A new ordinance has been introduced in Chicago, making it a crime to feed pigeons, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00 and six months in jail.

Are pigeons really a public health danger? Not according to New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which reports that while pigeon droppings may pose a small health risk, only three human diseases are associated with pigeon droppings and since 1996, there have been fewer than 50 confirmed cases in the entire United States annually. Of those, according to the CDC, about 70% of the infections were due to contact with sick pet birds.

Nonetheless, one Chicago alderman really doesn’t like pigeons.

Uptown Alderman Wants To Make It ACrime To Feed Pigeons

Pigeons; they’re tolerated at best, hated at worst. Now, one Chicago alderman wants to make it a crime to feed pigeons. CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports some people are calling the proposal by Ald. James Cappelman (46th) a bird-brained idea….

After a group of pigeons flew overhead, she found a splattering of bird droppings on her mug. It’s that threat to everyday living, that fear of walking under a viaduct, the scourge of flying birds that Cappelman wants to eradicate….

7 responses to “Dropping a breadcrumb could get you arrested in Chicago

  1. The link mentions the number of reported cases for one of the three diseases. It does not say that health professionals are required to report any of these diseases. Very often a health department will not have reports because they are not required. Also a long incubation period would make it difficult to trace the disease back to its source.

  2. that is a good example of why hunting should be legal in Chicago, but not for pigeons.

  3. Dropping a breadcrumb, capital crime!! Killing 15 or 20 innocent bystanders along with your target, no problem, “them’s good boys”!

  4. Fortunately the Congressman is either a fool, or unaware that such and order would constitute a Common Law assault and a crime. Our freedoms under the Law cannot be removed by an idiot sitting in Congress.
    Bill of Rights 1689 : That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;
    Unless he can prove that feeding pigeons, has caused harm or injury to a person, caused them loss or damage to their property, was an act of dishonesty, caused a breach of the peace, then he’s talking through his butt.
    If any of us are accused of a crime, one of the above, then we have a Constitutional right to demand that the Government presents its case to a randomly selected jury. the rub there is, that if the jury feel the law is unfair or unjust they have the power of nullification, declaring it ‘non-law’ and refuse to convict.

    • Westchester Bill

      Pigeon droppings corrode cables on the Brooklyn Bridge. Some years ago one of the secondary cables broke and killed a man.

  5. In many towns in England, I see ledges, roof edges, mouldings, gate and fence tops equipped with long thin spikes making it uncomfortable for birds to sit on such structures. I have never seen this method of pigeon control used in Chicago — have I overlooked it or does it have known downsides preventing its adoption there?

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