updated 6/25/2007 12:57:43 PM ET 2007-06-25T16:57:43

Beijing's airport is declaring war on pigeons.

Flocks of pigeons are thronging the airport, crashing into planes and threatening public safety, the state-run China Daily newspaper said Saturday. Some are carrier pigeons raised as pets, a centuries-old Beijing tradition.

"Pigeons are now one of the greatest threats for airplanes," Huang Jianjun, an airport manager, was quoted as saying by the paper. "It is with urgency that local authorities ban pigeon breeding, feeding and flying anywhere near the airport."

On Monday, an aircraft collided with a flock of nine pigeons but managed to land safely, the newspaper said. It said the birds were carrier pigeons raised by a farmer living nearby.

The airport has strung nets and tried to scare away pigeons with loudspeakers that broadcast sounds of owls and other predators but has had little success, the China Daily said.

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