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December 13, 2013

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Illegal pigeonries on roof irk residents

Residents of a complex in Putuo District are furious with a neighbor who has built large-scale illegal pigeonries that is home to over 600 pigeons.

The residents, most of whom were not willing to be named for fear of retaliation, said they were bothered by the frequent bird droppings and feathers flying all over that they claimed were unhygienic.

The wooden pigeonries, located on top of a 11-floor building on Qingyu Road, was built about nine years ago.

The residents accused the owner, surnamed Ding, of blocking passages and drawing water directly from the water tank to wash the pigeonries.

“The tank cannot be closed because he has put a pump inside the water tank to draw water,” a resident told Shanghai Daily.

“Feathers fly into the tank and appear in the tap water,” he said, adding that there was always a stink in the elevator, especially in summer, after the it was used to move out bags of pigeon droppings.

“We can’t even park our cars in front of the building entrance because of the droppings.”

His wife said the feathers would repeatedly stick to the windows.

A woman living downstairs said residents in the building had reported the matter to the property management company and neighborhood committee many times but no action was taken against the owner.

“Tiny feathers keep flying into my apartment. I have to keep removing them from the floor,” she said. “I feel it is unhygienic when I am cooking and the feathers fly in.”

“We had jointly signed a petition letter to press him to dismantle the pigeonries but it didn’t help.”

Another elderly woman said she could never dry her clothes outside as the feathers and droppings soiled them every time. “We are forced to install screen windows everywhere,” she said.

The woman said the area were the pigeonries were built was a public space but the owner had put up an iron gate, preventing others from accessing the rooftop. Her grandson even sees it as a threat to health amid fears of bird flu virus.

But the owner insisted that his pigeons posed no harm to  residents and that he always listened to their complaints.

“I’m careful about both feathers and droppings in the water tank and regularly clean the elevator,” the owner Ding said.

“Raising pigeons and participating in pigeon races are my dream,” Ding told Shanghai Daily.

“I’m a member of the local racing pigeon association and have paid over 4 million yuan (US$658,816) on these pigeons. My purpose of buying this apartment was to fulfill my dream,” he said.

“When I bought the apartment the property management company agreed to let me build the pigeonries.”

He said he was willing to accept any mediation from the authorities and find a solution to the problem.

“I’m considering selling part or most of the pigeons to a friend who intends to raise them in suburban areas,” Ding said.

Property management officials said they hope the two sides would sit down and discuss the problem and wanted  the district government to mediate in the matter.

It was still not clear if the pigeonries would be made smaller or dismantled altogether.

In September, a two-story luxury pigeonry built on the roof of a residential building on Hualing Road in Baoshan District was dismantled after complaints from neighbors. A month later, the pigeonry owner built a more modest home for his birds at the same place, after getting the approval from residents and the local racing pigeon association.


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