Yishun, Clementi to use fogging to curb mynah nuisance

Efforts by the AVA and Nee Soon Town Council to prune the trees in Yishun and limit the birds' food source have not been enough to deter them from returning.

Channel NewsAsia 26 Feb 16;

SINGAPORE: Fogging will be done for selected trees in Yishun and Clementi to manage the mynah population.

It is part of a year-long pilot by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) that started in Yishun on Thursday (Feb 25). It will kick off in Clementi in March.

Residents in Yishun have complained about the noise caused by nearby mynahs. Efforts by the AVA and Nee Soon Town Council to prune the trees and limit their food source have not been enough.

The trees will therefore be fogged with a chemical for five days every two months. The chemical causes temporary irritation to the mynahs, which aims to deter them from coming back. AVA said the fog acts as a sensory repellent and will not harm the birds.

However, authorities also said this is not a long-term solution.

Mr Louis Ng, MP for Nee Soon GRC, said: “It's part of the solution. So I think the key here is this isn't the only thing that we want to do. The other thing we really need to do is to enforce the (rule of not) feeding the birds - the mynahs, the pigeons. Because ultimately, that is the root of the problem. The population is increasing because people are feeding the birds. '

- CNA/ek

New method on trial to repel pesky birds
Samantha Boh, The Straits Times AsiaOne 26 Feb 16;

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) yesterday launched a new method to repel mynahs in Clementi and Yishun. These birds have drawn complaints for the nuisance they cause.

Every two months for the next year, the AVA will be fogging the trees where the birds roost in Yishun Street 71 and Clementi West Street 2 with a chemical repellent.

The chemical - which has methylated soya bean oil and grape extract - causes a brief, temporary burning feeling in the mouths, throats and other parts of the mynahs' faces.

Ms Janet Chia, 29, executive manager of operations at the wild animals section at AVA, said: "While repeated fogging will not affect the birds' health, we hope that the birds will learn to avoid the area."

She said the chemical is not known to have adverse effects on humans or animals, and has been effective in stopping birds from feeding on crops in the United States.

The trial comes as the number of bird-related feedback to the AVA jumped from about 5,700 in 2014 to about 7,300 last year. Complaints about mynahs rose from about 360 in 2014 to about 500 last year.

The AVA and town councils received around 110 complaints in total from residents in Yishun Street 71 and Clementi West Street 2 last year and the year before. Most are about the noise and soiling caused by the birds.

Madam Azizah Salam, 64, a retiree who lives in Yishun Street 71, said bird droppings often dirty cars and common corridors."They can be very noisy in the morning and in the evening too," she said.

The AVA said it will assess the method's effectiveness and determine if it should be implemented elsewhere. It added that a similar trial in 2014 in Jurong West Street 64 found that five consecutive days of fogging kept the birds away for only about two months. Hence the new trials will each last a year.

The trial in Yishun started yesterday, while the one in Clementi will begin next month. Each bi-monthly session involves fogging for five consecutive evenings.

Nee Soon GRC MP Louis Ng said some residents do not want the birds to be harmed, while others want to get rid of them.

"Using this method, which is more humane and doesn't harm the birds, the birds are repelled from this area, addressing both sides of residents' concerns," he said.

Said Ms Chia: "The public should not feed the birds as feeding may encourage the birds to congregate or result in an increase in their population, which could result in related nuisance and hygiene issues."

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