Don’t feed the pigeons!

My recent trip to the north of France highlighted a law which I never knew about. According to some sources, it’s illegal to feed pigeons in Paris. I’m not convinced this is a specific law — and I continued to feed a single pigeon beside me with churros from a nearby fair while the guy sitting next to me explained that the law was passed for health reasons and that although he had no objections, the police might fine me. Just as an aside, he then chatted for about twenty minutes about his background and asked about mine and my travel partner’s, then handed me a bracelet as a gift. I’m pretty skeptical of people being this genuine, but he really was happy that I accepted his gift and explained that in his culture, it’s offensive to refuse a gift.

I’ve done a bit of a web search (because if it’s not on the internet, it doesn’t exist, right?) and I’ve found differing views about this pigeon feeding ban. One website says there’s a €35 fine, while another website quotes one section of a law which is a bit hazy about the whole thing, but does suggest it might be illegal. Local councils apparently have some say in the matter, but an outright ban on pigeon feeding in Paris is something I could not locate. It may well exist: my French language skills simply are not up to the task of inquiring wholeheartedly into this, and nor is my motivation since I don’t live in Paris. However, for anyone planning a trip to Paris, it might be illegal to feed the pigeons, and that’s as helpful as I can be on the matter. On a far more helpful note, don’t waste your money on the dodgy churros at the fair at the Louvre end of the big park between the Louvre and the Champs-Elysées — you’re likely to reject their dryness and feed them to the pigeons instead.


I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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