Wayward chooks given boot
Chickens at a Putaruru home hatched a neighbourly dispute with the South Waikato District Council caught in the middle.
Cheryl-Lee Savage complained to the council for more than three months about her neighbour’s chickens escaping onto her yard.
Last Wednesday her neighbours were told the 10 chickens had to be removed.
Under the Keeping of Animals, Poultry and Bees bylaw, chickens are not allowed to be free range in an urban area.
A coop was built last week to comply with the bylaw.
But after an inspection from the council, three had snuck out, resulting in the eviction notice.
Savage said she understood council staff would be too busy to solve the issue straight away.
‘‘I know they have bigger issues to deal with.’’
However the ‘‘annoying nuisance’’ and apparent health risk to her 2 and 4-year old children took too long to be dealt with, she said.
Council environmental health manager, John Anderson, believed otherwise.
‘‘ Council believes the action taken is appropriate and fair. Enforcement action does take time as council needs to be reasonable about giving people time to comply.’’
Complaints are investigated by undertaking site visits, assessing and interpreting legislation and council policy.
Residents are advised and educated and complainants are informed of the action.
And because it was brought up near the Christmas break, staff were on leave, he said.
Both Savage and neighbour Wendy Brunton and her family have butted heads since the beginning.
They have also received warnings from the agent who manages their rented properties about respecting their neighbours.
Brunton did not see a problem with her animals. Goats, kittens, dogs, chickens, birds and rabbits all reside at the home.
She said a lot of her animals were saved from being dumped or abused.
And some were in the process of being adopted.
When it came to the chickens, she couldn’t explain how they would have escaped the homemade coop.
‘‘We have had issues with them [the neighbours] from the start . . . [but]we’ve complied with council . . . how do they get out? We don’t know.’’
She admitted chickens had escaped in the past but it was a rare occurrence, she said.
FED UP: Putaruru resident Cheryl-Lee Savage complained to the South Waikato District Council about her neighbour’s chickens for more than three months and wondered why it took so long to deal with.