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Govt. to consult with SPCA

Government is to consult with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals regarding its pilot programme to cull some of the Island?s feral chickens.

The SPCA has been out of the loop regarding the programme, which is designed to reduce the problems created by the feral chickens such as noise and nuisance to residents, danger to aircraft at the Airport and the spreading of disease.

In a report in this week, the SPCA expressed concern it had not been included in consultations about the cull programme. This will now be addressed, according to Environment Minister Neletha Butterfield.

She stressed the pilot cull programme is not primarily to prevent the spread of the avian bird flu H5N1 virus, which has affected areas of Asia, Africa and Europe.

?We note the concerns raised by the SPCA and are pleased to acknowledge their interest in the Feral Chicken Pilot programme,? said the Minister.

She added that the primary objective of the cull was not to prevent the spread of bird flu, adding: ?Our efforts are geared toward eliminating or substantially reducing the feral chicken population, which has been a persistent problem over the years, causing crop damage, posing a danger to aircraft and is a major nuisance in a number of our neighbourhoods.?