Feeding stray cats or pigeons in Roanne could cost you dearly

The city of Roanne has decided to crack down. People who feed cats and pigeons, or any other stray animal are liable to a fine of 450 euros. If the municipality has decided to strike hard, it is because the complaints have multiplied in recent months. What do the people of Roanne think?

“Feeding stupid pigeons” as Renaud sang, is no longer possible in Roanne under penalty of a fine of up to 450 euros. A measure put in place following daily complaints about the proliferation of pigeons.

“We had regular complaints in Roanne from local residents, who were fed up with seeing pigeons nesting in their inner courtyard. It was especially on the bus because there was a feeder nearby,” explains Romain Bost, municipal councilor in charge of animal welfare, nature in the city and the municipal forests of Roanne.

“We had a proliferation of pigeons and a proliferation of droppings. People found themselves with balconies covered in excrement. So there were public health issues.” Besides droppings, leftover food given to pigeons, such as seeds and bread crumbs, are likely to attract rodents.
The municipal councilor also recalls that feeding is already prohibited by the Departmental Health Regulations (RSD) but “we decided to communicate more widely with the population so that these actions stop”.

Prohibition to feed the pigeons under penalty of fine. What do the people of Roanne think of this new verbalization? “The town hall square and the market square are infected. It’s true that something had to be done,” explains a resident. Another is dubious: “the person who will feed the pigeons is the grandma or the grandpa. It will still affect those who have financial difficulties”.

And the price of the ticket? “It’s true, it’s a bit expensive. But everyone knows that you shouldn’t give them food. They have to go and eat in the countryside or in the trees”, says a resident, shrugging her shoulders.

Up to 450 euros, the amount of the fine is high. “We have no choice, when we put small fines, it doesn’t work!”, emphasizes Romain Bost who recalls that it is an amount “prescribed by law”.

In Roanne, stray cats also have a bad press. Residents are asked not to feed them. They too risk a fine of up to 450 euros. To continue to give them food, eight shelters have been set up on the territory of the city. “Residents can still legally feed the city’s cats using one of the eight cat shelters provided for this purpose”, explains the municipality on its Facebook page. No authorization outside these shelters. For pigeons, feeding is prohibited “everywhere”.

The objective: to identify felines without owners and eventually sterilize them to prevent proliferation. A couple of cats can produce up to 20,000 offspring in 4 years, recalls Romain Bost.

“We have ejections of stray cats in gardens or on public roads, we want to avoid all these problems. There are even people who may be afraid of cats”, explain Coraline Monier, “city animal” coordinator.

But be careful not to confuse stray cats with so-called “free” cats. The latter, pets are identified and circulate freely.

To guarantee the proper application of this decision, the municipality has appointed an animal referent. Eventually sworn in, she will be able to verbalize. The town hall also carries out several awareness-raising actions to explain its approach.

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