The following are quotes from credible experts with the REAL FACTS about pigeons and public health:
  • TV series segment, Healthier Living, shows how feeding wild pigeons helps relieve the stresses of day to day living.
  •  "...diseases associated with [pigeons] present little risk to people..." Dr. Michael McNeil, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta.
  • "One man's nuisance is another man's pleasure."  "'People worry that pigeons carry disease,' but the danger is 'an exaggeration created by pest control companies looking for business.'" - Guy Hodge, Naturalist for the Humane Society of the United States.
  •  "The New York City Department of Health has no documented cases of communicable disease transmitted from pigeons to humans." - Dr. Manuel Vargas, New York City Department of Health.
  • "Pigeons are not a public health hazard. Nobody in public health is losing any sleep over pigeons." - Dr. Joel McCullough, Medical Director, Environmental Health, Chicago Department of Public Health.
  • "[...the Arizona Department of Health Services does] not have any documented human cases of disease which have been definitively linked to outdoor pigeons or pigeon droppings. When cases of diseases are reported (and by law [certain bird related zoonoses are] reportable diseases), VBZD staff conduct complete investigations to confirm the diagnosis and identify the source of infection. Our case investigation data gathered so far, would suggest that pigeons are not significant as a cause of human disease in Arizona."
  • “We don’t see pigeon-related-disease problems...“I don’t think they’re seeing them anywhere..." - Bill Kottkamp, Supervisor, Vector Control, St. Louis County Health Department
  • "Pigeons do not get avian influenza and don't carry the virus," Dr. Cornelius Kiley, DVM, Canadian Food Inspection Agency 
  • Although pigeons have been shown to become infected with West Nile Virus, they do not act as reservoirs and therefore don't transmit the virus..." -Pennsylvania West Nile Virus Surveillance Program. 
       As a result, pigeons are generally no longer accepted for West Nile Virus testing by other government disease-surveillance agencies in the U.S and elsewhere.
  •  “We do have some concern about the indiscriminate killing of pigeons.” “[For example, histoplasmosis disease rates are] misleading and irrelevant, because histo’s so ubiquitous. It’s in the soil, regardless of whether pigeons are around or not...- Dr. Marshall Lyon, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta
  • “Problematic density [affecting human safety] is probably more determined by people getting their possessions defaced.” “I’m not terribly worried about pigeons.” - Dr. Alex Bermudez, University of Missouri-Columbia College of Veterinary Medicine
  • "I am not aware of any reported cases of diseases that were transmitted by pigeons in Mohave County." - Larry Webert, R.S., Mohave County Environmental Health Division

    State Headquarters: Phoenix, Arizona
    Hotline: 602.ANIMALS  Office: 602.265.BIRD

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    rev. 9/20/04