The city of Key West is taking legislative action to counter the exploding population of chickens living in and around the city, according to the Miami Herald.
Chickens roaming the busy streets are a common sight in the city of Key West, however, the chicken population has become a nuisance, defecating all over the city and attacking pedestrians. The city has responded with a new ordinance banning citizens from feeding the birds, according to the Miami Herald.
“The fowl have a feast,” City Commissioner Clayton Lopez said. “They can pick and choose better than we can what they eat off their plate.”
The ordinance, which was unanimously accepted in a first reading Wednesday, reportedly cites health concerns and property damage as the reason for the bill. (RELATED: How Cocaine Chicken Became A Tradition In The Bobby Brown Family)
“The casual French fry guy is not our problem,” Lopez reportedly continued. “There are people who buy 50-pound bags of feed and even dress up as chickens to go around feeding them.”
The new ordinance, which must be re-approved to become law, would be enforced by code compliance officers. Offenders would be fined $250 for their first breach, and $500 for their second, according to the Miami Herald.
Tom Sweets, the executive director of the local wildlife center, reportedly weighed in saying that the island habitat of Key West already provides plenty of food for the chickens.
“Nothing is worse for the chickens than feeding them,” Sweets said, according to the Miami Herald. “I’ve never seen a skinny chicken in Key West unless it’s sick or injured. There’s really not a need. They’re quite capable of taking care of themselves.”
The new ordinance allegedly would not punish residents who own chickens and house them in coops or pens.