Rooster lover will fight to keep bird

By Merania Karauria

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There was plenty of love in the Loves' backyard when rare Blue Polish and French Houdan hens arrived.

But nine months down the track, the Blue Polish hen announced at dawn that he was in fact Pretty Boy the rooster.

Feathers were ruffled in the Springvale suburb.

Within 24 hours, the Wanganui District Council's environmental officer paid a visit to the Fox Rd property and gave Pretty Boy's owner, Beverley Love, verbal notice that they could not have him disrupting the neighbourhood's dawn.

The Loves were devastated, and Pretty Boy's nine hens could be too, when they become widowed and leaderless, Ms Love says.

Until Ms Love can find a loving home for Pretty Boy, his cock-a-doodle-doo is restricted to business hours.

"The heavy hand of bureaucracy has dealt a final notice with a written warning that if Pretty Boy does not go, I'll be fined $20,000," Ms Love said.

Ms Love can't understand the hullabaloo over a cock-a-doodle-doo when barking dogs, power tools and lawnmowers make more noise than the natural dawn sound of a rooster.

Ms Love and the Wanganui Poultry Club have mounted a petition to get the bylaw changed on a "case by case" basis.

She said she would be at the Saturday market with Pretty Boy for people interested in signing the petition.

"A blanket ban on roosters seems unfair, which is why we have started the petition to see if the bylaw can be amended."

Ms Love said her rare breed of birds are very beautiful.

"They have a specific purpose and do very well. Chooks have a social structure that requires one to play the alpha role. A 'roo' is valuable when it comes to predator protection. Pretty Boy is only doing what he does best," says an upset Ms Love.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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