Photo by Josef Bray-Ali

By BARRY LANK

Lincoln Heights  — Animal rights protesters have been demonstrating in front of the Mission Road headquarters of Forever 21, saying the apparel chain has been inhumane by trapping pigeons in its parking lot. The company, however, says it has acted with “an abundance of caution.”

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals – or PETA – is asking Forever 21 to stop trapping the pigeons in favor of alternative approaches. Those would include  sonic repellants (e.g. recordings of pigeons in distress) and visual deterrents (such as revolving lights, mirrors or effigies of predatory birds) to drive the pigeons away.

Apparently the birds are flocking in search of food in the same parking lots where food trucks cater to company employees.

“In addition to tearing wild families apart and leaving orphaned young to starve, trapping initiatives are traumatic for victims, who experience immense distress and can succumb very quickly to stress, exposure, or injuries sustained in frantic attempts to escape,” said PETA in a statement. “Furthermore, as long as the area remains attractive to the species, newcomers will simply arrive in order to fill the void created when others are removed.”

Forever 21, for its part, says it try to maintain a sanitary environment while not harming the pigeons.

“After being notified of an isolated pigeon issue, Forever 21 began working with Urban Wildlife, a third-party wildlife service expert to help resolve the situation and in order uphold all health and safety regulations for our employees,” said the company in a statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we brought in a third party humane specialist from spcaLA – who further ensured that all animal safety regulations were being met with the utmost compliance,” said the company.


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