The Ayuntamiento are to cull 64,700 pigeons in 16 months (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The city council is standing firm against the overpopulation of pigeons in Barcelona and sticking to their aim to kill 41,000 birds a year. The last census, completed in 2006, established that Barcelona had around 256,000 birds. The average per square kilometer, was around 4,000 to 6,500 in some districts, which is 10 times higher that experts advise. What is hoped by the municipality is that the figure will gradually reduce. The strong intervention by the city council of last year is now seemingly now bearing fruit as complaints concerning pigeons decreased from 380 in 2007 to 299 in 2009. The process to cull the birds will begin with netting them, they will later be asphyxiated by carbon dioxide. The main factors that leads to their overpopulation are too many people feeding them, the climate of the city and the ease with which they nest which all make it complicated to curb their numbers. Carmen Méndez, president of the Association for the Defence of Animals (ADDA) has criticised the system chosen by the council to tackle the problem, considering that even if you remove a quarter of the pigeon colony, population recovers its original density in two years.
Bicing fails for the second day after a computer crash (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). The company Barcelona de Serveis Municipals, responsible for overseeing the service, said yesterday that the system had suffered three major failures, at 8.15am, 9,15am and midday. Many users failed to report the fault by telephone, but a number of customers complained that users could not access the database. The computer system of Bicing suffered communication problems between the stations and the central server and caused errors when reading the magnetic cards. To resolve the constant problems, a US company, Clear Channel, scheduled a change of system on Tuesday, that was aborted because the new system caused a longer wait for the user. Clear Channel, based in Texas, sent an elite team of programmers to Barcelona to eradicate the problem. The software had been developed by the concessionaire to manage their own bicycles in services worldwide. In Barcelona, the system developed by Clear Channel uses a data network owned by France Télécom (Orange) which communicates with a server hired by from the business Concatel.
Barely a month after parliament passed to abolish bullfighting in 2012, the correbous continue (read article in Castilian here, El Pais). The correbous are a major component of the fiestas mayores in el Ebro, which take place this weekend. Only the ICV-EUiA party is in favour of banning these events with the others claiming that they have strong roots among the population. However Dolors Camats, spokesperson from the ICV said, "We showed a great example as a country with the abolition of bull fighting and have lost a chance to move forward on the same line by not prohibiting the correbous." The pro-bullfighters claim that with the manual of good practice, set out in the future law, ensures that the correbous bulls suffer as little as possible. They do not however listen to the complaints from animal protection groups who believe that the practices are simply torture. The grupo Asociación Nacional para la Protección y el Bienestar de los Animales (ANPBA) filed a governmental litigation against the correbous that argues that the Animal Protection Law prohibits the infliction of harm to animals, whilst recognising their "physical and emotional sensitivity" and therefore prohibits causing "suffering, anxiety or fear." The programmes of the fiestas mayores in Amposta and Deltebre include three types of event that include bulls, bous capllaçats (ensogados), which is where the bulls are tied with a rope around the horns and dragged through town. Then there is the embolats, where the bulls are fitted with firework torches to their horns and then finally the bull running. The festivities last for nine days. The correbous are not unique to the Ebro area, they are also held in Roses, Olot, Cardona and Vilanova i la Geltrú. The platform Prou!, who was a driving force behind the abolition of bullfighting have stayed out of the arguments for the banning of the correbous.