HONOLULU — Honolulu has decided to look for a better way to deal with feral chickens after its first attempt at getting a handle on the birds resulted in a cost of $108 per chicken caught and killed.
One reason Honolulu found it difficult to capture feral chickens was because they would run from city property to state or private property where city-paid staffers aren’t authorized to enter, the Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.
Deputy Customer Services Director Randy Leong said the city doesn’t have the authority to enter private property, and even if it did, there would be liability issues.
“I don’t want to humorize this, but really, the chickens often cross the road and go into properties such as the state, federal properties and private properties such as condominiums, or strip malls or apartment complexes,” Leong said. “If a city contractor were to enter a residential neighborhood and traverse through the neighborhood and go from one home to another, the city could be exposed to a myriad of claims.”
Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration said it will work with the state to take another look at the issue after being pressed by City Council members.
East Honolulu Councilman Trevor Ozawa, who heads the Council Budget Committee, proposed that the city set aside $160,000 for a citywide feral chicken mitigation program.
Ozawa told Caldwell’s officials that he considers tackling the feral chicken issue a core service.
“It’s public health and safety, and general welfare of the citizens,” Ozawa said.
The city started a pilot program more than two years ago to deal with feral chickens on city-owned properties, Leong said.
The first contract, for $80,000, ran from August to November 2015 and resulted in the capture of 670 chickens from parks, golf courses and facilities using electronic traps, cameras and monitoring, city officials said. The second contract, also for $80,000, resulted in the capture of 807 chickens, from February to June 2016, most of them from parks and urban forestry sites where the city receives the most complaints.
The captured chickens were then killed by placing them in an enclosed chamber that euthanizes them, a method approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, city officials said.
Both contracts were with Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions.
Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com