Many people, moved by their love for animals but unaware of their customs and true needs, tend to feed pigeons, cats and other stray species, believing that in this way they contribute to their well-being. And yet, experts warn that this way of acting is not always positive and can cause public health problems, both for people and for the animals themselves.
To begin with, feed the animals favors its uncontrolled reproduction and facilitates the proliferation of pests, with the consequent health consequences. Suffice it to say that cockroaches and rats are attracted to debris thrown on the floor. In addition, these remains cause an increase in dirt and bad odors on public roads.
An article published in Consumer magazine warns that feeding animals also alters the relationship between the different species that live in the city. For example, in the case of ponds (when you want to feed fish, ducks and other waterfowl) those foods pollute the water and can make it uninhabitable for other species.
It must be taken into account that in many localities, municipal ordinances directly prohibit throwing food at cats, pigeons, ducks, fish and other urban animals, with the consequent economic sanctions.
And it is that, although we think that without our food contributions, these animals will go hungry, it is not true. All experts remember that most of them do not require food supply by humansas they are able to provide for their own livelihood.
This is the correct way to act in each case, according to NGOs, veterinarians and other experts:
ducks and fish
Ducks and fish in ponds located in parks and gardens should never be fed, since they do not need crusts of bread to feed themselves, nor do they need that wide variety of garbage products that are thrown at them: from chips and hooks to donuts and treats. This kind of products not only does it not benefit them, but they even cause serious damage to their health.
Even apparently harmless bread is also not suitable for throwing into the water, as crumbs and various food remains cause the well-known effect of excessive algae growth, insect multiplication, mold growth and bacteria development. That makes these waters uninhabitable for other species and even for those that are already inside and we wanted to help.
It makes no sense to flood parks, sidewalks, squares and other places where pigeons abound with pieces of bread. these birds they are totally self-sufficient in foraging for food both when it is cold and when it is hot, since they are omnivorous (at least, the urban ones) and have no qualms about eating anything they find.
The only thing that will be achieved by throwing food on the ground is that the colonies of pigeons increase more, with the consequent problems generated by these animals, so well known by all and that it is so difficult for the municipalities to solve.
It must also be remembered that pigeons are carriers of parasites such as ticks, lice, scabies and others, and can transmit diseases such as histoplasmosis, salmonellosis, colibacillosis or avian chlamydia.
Stray cats have already been born free on the street, so they are not, in general, abandoned animals. They are used to living in urban environments and, according to veterinarians, their adoption is not even recommended, to which they do not finish getting used to.
Feeding city cats is directly prohibited by the municipalities, which are usually in charge of these colonies, sometimes with volunteers who are in charge of supervising the welfare of said animals, even feeding them under the legally established systems.
In any case, feeding them in an uncontrolled way, without attending to scientific criteria, generates an increase in unhealthiness, appearance of rats, cockroaches and bad odors.
It is estimated that in Spain more than 800,000 dogs live on the street. Contrary to what happens with cats, they are usually animals that have been abandoned by their owners. In this case, it is always best to find them a new home, and If we are not going to take care of the animal, we must contact the City Council or a protective entity of animals in our neighborhood.
Meanwhile, you have to feed them with the food recommended by veterinarians, which is usually compound feed, healthier than the remains of our own food.
If it is not advisable to feed stray animals, it is much less advisable to do so with wild animals, which, by their very nature, know exactly where, what and when to eat. Feeding them by humans will only break their natural functioning and alter their habits.
Reference article: https://www.consumer.es/medio-ambiente/problemas-alimentar-animales-callejeros-silvestres.html