Ho Ching’s video of Red Junglefowl at Sin Ming Ave raise questions about AVA’s claim

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Ms Ho Ching, Chief Executive Officer of Temasek Holdings and wife of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong posted a Facebook video, showing a couple of free-roaming chickens around a bush.

Ms Ho wrote in her video,

"A friend in AVA tells me that there are still families of jungle fowl in the Sin Ming Ave and Sin Ming Road areas.

Visited both to see for myself, and was very happy to have found them in both places

Video below is a family behind a coffee shop in the Sin Ming Road in peaceful co-existence with friendly homo sapiens."

Her comments come as being peculiar, given that Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) culled 20 over chickens during the first few days of the Rooster Lunar New Year, around Thomson View and Blocks 452 to 454 Sin Ming Avenue.

While it indirectly implied to local media that the chickens were killed after it received 20 complaints from residents about them last year, most of them related to noise. It then changed its story after incurring the wrath of members of public, by stating that it is AVA's responsibility to keep Singapore free from associated animal plant diseases that pose a threat to public health.

Read: Really? AVA states bird-flu prevention as a reason for culling of “chickens” at Sin Ming Ave

What Ms Ho's video dispute is not the reason of why the chickens were culled in the first place but AVA's initial indirect claim that the culled chickens at Sin Ming Ave were domesticated chickens.

AVA said to TODAY that the free-ranging chickens that are sometimes seen on mainland Singapore are not red junglefowl though some may resemble them, alluding to readers that the chickens were normal chickens that they dine on.

Straits Times went further with a Facebook video, showing domesticated chickens as its featured image for the Sin Ming Ave chickens and repeating what AVA had said.

Read: Nation-building Straits Times comes to the defence of AVA with misrepresenting photo of Sin Ming Ave chickens

The Red junglefowl is listed as 'Endangered' in the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore.

In a quote featured by Straits Times on 2 Feb, National Parks (NParks) said that the domesticated chicken and red junglefowl has a number of distinct traits. It noted that the purebred red junglefowl have grey legs, whereas chickens mostly have yellow legs. While chickens sport red combs, female junglefowl do not. Red junglefowl, unlike chickens, can fly and are also quieter.

Their calls are high-pitched and truncated, whereas roosters - male chickens - have a recognisable call that is louder and longer.

If one were to view Ms Ho's video, one might come to a conclusion about what AVA and Mainstream Media have been alluding to readers about the species of the culled chickens, may be described as the new media term, "alternative facts".