“Chickens” which had been roaming freely around Thomson View and Blocks 452 to 454 Sin Ming Avenue, have been put down by Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) as there were 20 complaints lodged against their presence.
In response to queries by local newspaper TODAY, AVA said that the complaints were largely related to noise.
The AVA spokesperson stated that the chickens were then humanely euthanised as relocation options are not available in land-scarce Singapore, noting that the authority “conducts surveillance and control operations to safeguard public health and mitigate nuisance issues”.
Under the AVA’s Animals and Birds Act, people are not allowed to keep more than 10 non-commercial poultry, including chickens, in private residential premises. The spokesperson stated that AVA will take enforcement action on owners who keep more than 10 poultry, as well as advise owners on responsible pet ownership, and to adopt measures that would help mitigate noise nuisances caused by pet poultry.
While TODAY states in its article that the chickens are not the red jungle fowl, wild ancestor of domestic chickens, and a protected species here in Singapore. But the species are the only free roaming chickens around the area and residents have shared that the culled “chickens” flew at times. Domesticated chickens, in general, do not fly.
According to online forums, AVA has been engaging contractors since early 2016 to trap the animals due to complaints from neighbours. This action by AVA is puzzling to animal activists as the species that are free roaming is of endangered status.
TODAY interviewed ten random residents around the area, with seven people disagreeing with how the authorities dealt with the complaints, while three other agreed that the animals were indeed being too noisy.
Polytechnic student Marc Loh, 18, said that the chickens had been around the neighborhood since he was a little boy and he was not bothered by the fowls’ existence. He said that he and his friends even tried to take pictures of them while they were perching on a tree.
Housekeeper Stella Lourdes, 62, also disagreed saying that it is so nice to see them around with the little chicks following them. She said that sometimes there were even some kindergarten brought their students to show them the chickens.
Ms Agnes Choy, 36, has lived in the area for about 20 years. She said, “I think it’s sometimes quite cute to see them. It’s quite like the kampung days.
John Lee, 63, who works as a taxi driver said that the chickens are “quite interesting” and “make the place more colourful and lively”.
While, 63-year-old Ms Stella Hosoucheng was among those residents who agreed with the act, saying, “The noise and they fly! I can hear them crowing early in the morning … and obviously I don’t like them.”
A 71-year-old resident declined to be named, saying, “Early in the morning, (they are) crowing, sometimes in the afternoon … I think they should be removed, because they disturb the environment. Sometimes, in the evening, they keep on crowing, making a nuisance (of themselves).
Ms Jenet , 40, however, said that she was not bothered by the animals’ existence. Still, she agreed with the authorities, saying that it is sad to know that the chickens had been put down, however, she thinks it is good to actually put some of them down. Because she worries that the fowl population will get bigger.
“It has to be controlled,” she said.
One netizen writing in response to the report states that AVA is clearly lying when it stated that relocation options were unavailable. Even if one were to discount the various forested areas still present in Singapore, there is always an option of Pulau Ubin to take.
An idea of how the chickens look like in the video below.
As TOC’s office was formerly situated near the grass patch where the chickens roam, we see them quite often, roaming near the bus stop where bemused commuters will stop and take photos of the chickens running around freely on the grass patch, minding their own business.
In the opinion of TOC, it is likely that AVA just contracted animal control company to handle the problem and the company just decided that culling is the cheapest method to resolve the problem.
A sad news to start off the lunar new year, especially given that this is the year of Rooster.