“The roads belong to humans, so the pigeons should have gotten out of the way.” This is what Atsushi Ozawa, a 50-year-old Japanese taxi driver, arrested last Sunday for deliberately killing a pigeon with his vehicle, reportedly told investigators.
This unusual scene, which will not fail to exasperate animal rights defenders, took place on November 13 in Japan. According to local media, the taxi driver accelerated sharply at an intersection when the light turned green, rushing into a group of pigeons at a speed of 60 km/h.
A passerby, surprised by the roar of the engine, then reported the incident to the police. Far from taking the matter lightly, she entrusted a veterinarian with an autopsy of the pigeon killed in the collision with the vehicle. The expert would have attributed the cause of death to traumatic shock.
Police described the reckless driver's actions as "highly malicious", given his work as a professional driver, before arresting him for violating wildlife protection laws, according to Fuji TV. “Even though a limited number of game pigeons can be legally hunted in Japan, their wild and urban cousins can only be killed if they constitute a proven nuisance – for example by causing damage to crops and livestock – and only with the approval of local authorities,” recalls the Guardian.