Thursday, November 18, 2004

A peacock, left, and a peahen feed at the Waimea Valley Audubon Center. The center was criticized this summer for killing nine peacocks to thin the growing population.

Council panel OKs
bill to limit peafowl

Franchelle White doesn't want other children to lose their pet peafowl because of a bill headed for passage by the City Council next month.

City & County of Honolulu The 10-year-old Waianae girl told the City Council's Public Safety Committee, which approved the bill yesterday, about how she has raised her pet peacock Prince for the past year and a half.

"We want the bill killed," White said after the meeting. "I don't want them to take other kids' pets away."

But Councilwoman Barbara Marshall, who introduced the measure, said that is not what the bill is about.

"I want to reassure you that it was never the intent of this Council or me as the introducer of this bill to take away children's pets," Marshall said. "We were never intending to go after the peacock. We were simply attempting to avoid future neighborhood problems similar to those that we confront now regularly with roosters."

The bill would limit the number of peafowl in a residential area to two per household -- the Council's latest attempt to deal with animal nuisance complaints.

And it might not be the last as urban areas and previously rural areas begin to merge.

"Today, it's peacocks; tomorrow, I might advance a proposal that will deal with parakeets and parrots," quipped Councilman Nestor Garcia.

Garcia said it is time to look at whether the city's animal nuisance laws need to be revised. "It does beg an overall review ... in an island society with encroachment and density and all the other things that will come before the Council as we try to reconcile all inhabitants."

Waimea Valley Audubon Center was criticized in the summer for killing nine peacocks to "thin" the birds' growing population.

Wild peafowl have also encroached into neighborhoods, with frustrated homeowners trying to keep them off their properties.

Animal-rights activists testified yesterday, however, that limiting the number of animals does not work, as evidenced by similar laws for dogs and chickens.

"It's not helped you," said Sabina , of the Animal Care Foundation.



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