Ever since the AVA culled the 24 free-roaming fowls at Sin Ming – which came across as a bit ironic since this is the year of the rooster – members of the public have been relentless with their criticisms. In response, the AVA has issued numerous statements to justify their act – which actually poured more oil into the fire.
Here are some of their cockamamie justifications:
- Noise complaints: At first, AVA cited that the culling was a response to 20 complaints from residents at Sing Ming last year, citing noisy fowl play. But if noise control is on the agenda, then roosters shouldn’t be the only birds culled: everyone’s probably been woken up early in the morning by the wailings of the Asian koel (which sound like a high-pitched ‘ku-oo’) – it’s a type of cuckoo that’s designed to make people go cuckoo. They’re more often heard than seen, which is probably how they evaded the AVA, while the chickens were just sitting er, chickens.
- They can’t be relocated to Ubin as they’re not native wildlife: Singapore is an urban nation, which is a pretty tough environment for ‘wild’ life to thrive. So when you see a jungle fowl, chances are they’re more wild than those you see clingwrapped at a supermarket. Since the birds at Sin Ming aren’t pure red junglefowl (which are an endangered species) they needed to be culled because we can’t ship them off to Ubin – home of the real red junglefowl – in case they “create a situation where domesticated or hybrid chickens inter-breed or hybridise wild junglefowl”. No fowl play allowed between birds? That’s chicken racism.
- Free-roaming chickens raise the risk of bird flu: This one makes sense to most people, since Singapore is a stopover node for migratory birds. But if kiasuism is to be cited, shouldn’t they also be culling more common birds like pigeons or mynahs? They’re pests that have more interaction with people, especially at open-air hawker centres. Let’s not forget that unlike the chickens, these birds can fly and thus spread disease further and faster than a chicken can run. Speaking of spreading disease, AVA should really look into controlling the population of rats.
While AVA’s poppycock actions have had citizens in an uproar, it’s bizarre how people can come together for
junglefowl chickens that they’ve never met, especially since chicken is a popular meat of choice in Singapore.