Berlin animal welfare budget slashed by 96 percent amid spending cuts

Berlin animal welfare budget slashed by 96 percent amid spending cuts

The CDU-SPD state government in Berlin has called for a 2 percent spending cut across all city departments. The animal welfare budget will be hit the hardest, with an expected 96 percent funding cut.

Berlin state government cuts pigeon welfare project

To meet the objectives of its 2024 budget, the Berlin senate is making a 96 percent funding cut to its animal welfare budget.

Part of the Berlin Justice Department, the animal welfare department was originally designated a 400.000-euro budget for 2024. Head animal welfare officer Kathrin Hermann will now see her department’s budget cut by 337.000 euros.

The cuts have put pigeons’ heads on the chopping block. Of the 400.000 euros originally designated to animal welfare, 200.000 had been earmarked for a pigeon welfare programme. 

While the city’s pigeon population of around 50.000 may seem to thrive to the untrained eye, in particularly busy areas, 90 percent of squabs don’t survive their first year of life, and those that do survive live on a poor diet, with many dying early of starvation.

The “pigeon management” pilot project developed by Hermann and her predecessor Diana Plange, which aimed to build dovecots where injured birds could be treated, will now be put on hold at least until the next annual budget is decided.

Berlin Senate calls for 2 percent spending cut across departments

Alongside animal welfare, almost every department is set to have its budget cut under the CDU-SPD’s new plan. 600 projects will be squeezed to save 570 million euros. 

Funding for training colleges (Hochschulen) in Berlin will be cut by 55 million euros, amounting to 5 percent of their original budget. 500.000 euros set aside for cycle paths will be scrapped, as well as 6,5 million euros for noise protection on Berlin streets. 

Berlin’s 29-euro ticket for public transport will have its budget cut by 20 million euros, but the cut is unlikely to impact passengers - at least for now - since the senate says it put aside more money than necessary to roll out the policy. The ticket will still be introduced on July 1, 2024.

Thumb image credit: markusmayer /

Olivia Logan


Olivia Logan

Editor for Germany at IamExpat Media. Olivia first came to Germany in 2013 to work as an Au Pair. Since studying English Literature and German in Scotland, Freiburg and Berlin...

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