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Tuesday, 03 May 2011 (3014571)
'Wild bunch' still free
by David Simister

A “WILD bunch” of chickens are still on the loose in a West Lancashire village - despite claims from the police that they are being moved to new homes.

Champion reader Jim Hutchinson told The Champion that he has seen wild chickens in Banks on a recent visit, despite claims from Lancashire Constabulary more than a month ago that the offending animals had been removed.

He said after visiting Aveling Drive in the village:“I was looking around Aveling Drive in Banks at propery for rent and sale, and guess what? I saw three hens and a cockerel strolling around the grass verges looking for food.”

“So they have either escaped from their new home or they hid on the day their friends were rounded up and taken to their new home. So this wild bunch story has come back to life.”

Mr Hutchinson said that he had seen the wild birds at around 6pm on April 22, nearly a month after Lancashire Constabulary announced that their wildlife officer had rehomed more than 40 wild hens and roosters from Abbingdon Drive, which is next to Aveling Drive in the village.

Mark Thomas, wildlife officer for Lancashire Constabulary, said last month of the wild chickens:

“We were told that a couple of the birds were originally dumped by their owner around three years ago and since then their numbers have multiplied. Early in the morning at about 4am the cockerels would start crowing, causing a noise nuisance for the residents. They would also create a mess by searching for food with the other chickens.”

Lancashire Constabulary told The Champion yesterday that although its wildlife officer has rehomed another group of around 20 chickens over the past week, the process of rehoming chickens was “an ongoing operation”.

Banks residents have made regular complaints to police in the past about the noise at dawn, as well as the mess created by the birds and damage that was being done to gardens.


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