Singapore

‘Noisy chickens’ in Sin Ming Avenue put down after residents’ complaints

‘Noisy chickens’ in Sin Ming Avenue put down after residents’ complaints
AP file photo
Published: 4:00 AM, February 1, 2017
Updated: 11:21 AM, February 1, 2017

SINGAPORE — The authorities have put down chickens that had been roaming freely around Thomson View and Blocks 452 to 454 Sin Ming Avenue, after receiving complaints about the noise they made.

In response to TODAY’s queries — following reports of the move by the Chinese media — the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said that it received 20 complaints from residents about the free-ranging chickens last year, most of them related to noise.

The chickens were probably from the nearby forested area, and TODAY understands the chickens euthanised were not the red junglefowl, which resemble chickens and have been identified as an endangered species.

“The chickens are humanely euthanised, as relocation options are not available in land-scarce Singapore,” said an AVA spokesperson yesterday.

The spokesperson also noted that the authority “conducts surveillance and control operations to safeguard public health and mitigate nuisance issues”.

It would also carry out checks on private residential premises in response to feedback on the keeping of pet chickens, to determine if they are kept in accordance with its guidelines.

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.

“AVA will take enforcement action on owners who keep more than 10 poultry. We will also advise owners on responsible pet ownership, and to adopt measures that would help mitigate noise nuisances caused by pet poultry,” said the spokesperson.

TODAY’s interviews with 10 residents at Sin Ming Avenue yesterday drew a mixed response, with seven lamenting the chickens’ demise, while three felt that the free-roaming fowl were indeed noisy.

Polytechnic student Marc Loh, 18, said he had been hearing the chickens’ crows since he was a little boy, but they had never bothered him or his family.

“I don’t have any complaints about them,” he told TODAY as he and several friends tried to take a picture of a crowing chicken perched on a tree.

Housekeeper Stella Lourdes, 62, expressed disappointment when told of the news, adding: “It’s so nice to see them, with the little chicks following them. The kindergarten (even) brings the children here sometimes to show them the chickens.”

Ms Agnes Choy, who has lived in the area for about 20 years, said neither the chickens nor their crows bothered her. “I think it’s sometimes quite cute to see them. It’s quite like the kampung days,” said the 36-year-old, who works in the real estate industry.

For taxi driver John Lee, 63, the chickens are “quite interesting” and “make the place more colourful and lively”.

However, 63-year-old Ms Stella Hosoucheng was among those residents who said they were not fond of the chickens.

“The noise and they fly! I can hear them crowing early in the morning … and obviously I don’t like them,” said Ms Hosoucheng, who works in customer service.

Expressing similar sentiments, a 71-year-old resident, who did not want to be named, said: “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).”

Although the chickens did not really bother Ms Jenet Tan, 40, she still felt that they should be removed.

“It’s sad to know (that the chickens had been put down), but I think it’s good to actually put some of them down. If not, the (fowl) population will get bigger and bigger, and it has to be controlled,” said Ms Tan, who also works in customer service.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JEONG HONGBIN