R-12 initially existed in the form of pellets, but this structure could splinter under certain conditions and so posed a risk for small birds such as sparrows, and other pigeon species such as Eurasian collared doves. Corn kernels were therefore chosen to prevent other birds from being able to consume R-12. Corn kernels are consistent in shape, cannot splinter and are too large for consumption by smaller birds. The water-repellent coating also means they cannot swell up or become deformed. And corn contributes to a healthy pigeon population because of its nutritional value.
For its registration in Belgium in 2016, the medicine was launched under an international name: R-12. The R in R-12 represents the prefix re-, which means ‘again’: a situation is returned to its original state. Specifically, a pigeon population is restored to make it healthy and balanced again. The 12 refers to the French numeral douze. This incorporates douce, the French word for ‘soft’, to indicate the medicine's non-invasive and animal-friendly effect. When you pronounce the whole name – ‘re-douze’ – it sounds like reduce.
In summary, R-12 stands for an animal-friendly reduction of a pigeon population, with the aim of restoring the original balance.
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