Deadline passes for fowl cull

Animal lover and Herbert local Wayne Richardson holds one of his flock. Photo by Shannon Gillies.
Animal lover and Herbert local Wayne Richardson holds one of his flock. Photo by Shannon Gillies.
The deadline has passed for Herbert man Wayne Richardson to significantly reduce his flock of wandering birds.

On March 22, the Waitaki District Council and police responded to a complaint from a motorist about the dangers posed to traffic on State Highway 1 by the birds kept at the roadside property of the former chicken and pig farmer.

Mr Richardson slashed his flock of geese, ducks, chickens and roosters from about 60 to 40, but he was on notice to reduce his flock to 12 by April 13.

He said when he brought his property six years ago the council told him he could keep up to 100 animals.

He understood the reasons behind the cull order and accepted the safety of road users was paramount, but that did not take away from his concerns about people dumping animals at his property, including on occasions chickens, cats and a dog, and people luring chickens out of his property on to the road with food.

He also stressed it was only chickens that got out on to the 100kmh road, not his other fowls.

If the council made him get rid of his ducks or geese, he said he would leave the property - a threat reduced from a promise he would go to court to defend his right to keep them.

''Council don't want it and I don't want it. In the end, only one type of person wins when you go to court. I'm only a man. I can't fight them. If all these animals go, I'll just leave this house. There's no point in living here. It's a dangerous area just to drive out of.''

Under the council's bylaws, any person who keeps poultry must ensure the birds are effectively contained within their property and do not cause a nuisance.

Mr Richardson said he could not afford upgrade his fence and over the years several cars had crashed into it.

Council regulatory services manager Lichelle Guyan said council staff could find no record of Mr Richardson being told he could keep up to 100 animals on his property.

Mrs Guyan said under the Waitaki District Plan, Mr Richardson could keep a maximum of 12 poultry on his property and those birds must be securely contained.

''We have visited Mr Richardson's home and are disappointed to discover that he has not complied with the notice to reduce the number of poultry and keep them contained. Based on our findings, we will continue to investigate other enforcement options with Mr Richardson.''


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