Bourbon-soaked barley has helped the Buller District Council catch raucous roosters.

For months, people have been dumping unwanted roosters in the Westport Domain, beside the Buller River, said Mayor Garry Howard.

"There were 13 strutting their stuff around the domain and then with autumn, three rebels decided to cross the road and put up in a magnolia tree."

He said the roosters migrated across each night and started crowing in the early hours.

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The council's animal control officers were called in to help keep the peace. First they tried nets, then a cage but that was stolen before the roosters were apprehended.

Mr Howard said the council came up with a cunning plan.

The officers soaked barley in bourbon, scattered it around, and caught two inebriated roosters.

One ringleader remained at large, he said "but with an ice cream container of Kentucky bourbon-laced barley the morning and evening chorus will be subdued".

The removed roosters would continue their chorus in remoter pastures, he added.

"I would like to commend the dedication of the animal control officers as they've sacrificed their own personal time and whiskey to catch these animals which shows their dedication to the job."

- The Westport News