Chicken culling issue raises need for more awareness

The recent culling of chickens by the authorities here highlights the constant tension between animal lovers and those who are less enamoured by them, said Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday.

"It's a very real issue. It's not just about chickens. It's about dogs, cats and pets in general," said Mr Tan.

"We live in close proximity... Many people are pet lovers but there are people who also don't like pets. We need to exercise mutual understanding and give and take."

He added that some members of the public could be uncomfortable with certain animals due to lack of information, and that more awareness is needed.

He was speaking at an Acres (Animal Concerns Research and Education Society) event to rehome Rahayu, the endangered turtle.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) killed 24 free-roaming chickens in Sin Ming after residents made 20 noise complaints last year.

While some viewed the birds as a nuisance, others were upset to see them go.

The AVA said that Pasir Ris and Thomson residents had also complained last year about noise from free-ranging chickens; and that it would take action whenever it receives noise complaints.

Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC and Acres founder and chief executive officer Louis Ng said yesterday that instead of culling chickens, the authorities should look into other solutions, such as relocating the animals or putting them up for adoption.

"Ultimately, euthanasia is still the worst option," he said.

"Let's get an accurate sense of what's happening on the ground," he added, pointing out that 20 complaints could have come from one or two people calling repeatedly.

Read also: Keeping close watch on free-ranging chickens

This article was first published on Feb 3, 2017.
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