Complaints of chickens in neighbourhoods on the rise

For private residential estates, there were 500 reports in 2021, an increase from 220 reports in 2017. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

SINGAPORE - More people are complaining about chickens in their neighbourhoods.

Residents in Housing Board estates made 950 reports in 2021 to the Ministry of National Development (MND), government agencies and town councils about chickens in their neighbourhoods, up from 300 in 2017.

For private residential estates, there were 500 reports in 2021, an increase from the 220 reports in 2017, said the ministry in a reply to The Straits Times on Wednesday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How told Parliament that from 2017 to 2021, agencies and town councils received around 2,400 and 1,700 “pieces of feedback” about chickens in HDB and private residential estates respectively. He did not say how many were complaints.

He was responding to MP Ang Wei Neng (West Coast GRC) who had asked for the number of complaints over the past five years on the noise and smell from live chickens located at HDB estates and private residential estates.

Mr Ang also asked if there will be a review of the chicken rearing policy in HDB flats, private residential apartments and private landed residential properties.

In reply, Mr Tan said the keeping of poultry is not allowed in HDB flats for public health reasons and to manage disamenities.

He said that when HDB receives complaints about chicken rearing in HDB flats, MND will work with agencies to engage the flat owners to make alternative arrangements to rehome their chickens where necessary. Private residential owners who keep chickens will be urged to minimise any inconvenience to their neighbours, such as noise.

He added that the disputing parties can seek mediation at the Community Mediation Centre, or in more difficult cases, they can refer the matter to the Community Disputes Resolution Tribunal.   

“NParks (National Parks Board) will continue to work with our partners to raise public awareness on responsible pet ownership. NParks and HDB review pet ownership policies regularly to safeguard public health, while balancing the needs of different segments of the community,” said Mr Tan.

In October, ST reported that measures taken to reduce the chicken population in Sin Ming Court have brought their numbers down to about 50, according to residents and a task force set up to deal with the issue. Thirty chickens had been sent to farms – 10 each in April, August and October. Other measures to reduce the chicken count in the estate included a campaign to educate residents on the feeding of the chickens, an egg hunt, trimming the grass in areas near residences to dissuade the chickens from nesting, and installing nets on trees so that they do not roost.

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