Canada Police called as Surrey neighbourhood's peacock dispute escalates

18:31  06 june  2018
18:31  06 june  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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The war of words over problem peafowl in a Surrey neighbourhood is escalating . For years, a muster of feral peacocks had been a fixture of the Sullivan Heights area at 150th Street and 62nd Avenue 2 hours before Police trying to identify woman whose body was found near waterfront trail in Whitby.

The dispute began with what the court called a “petty neighborhood dispute .” Bruce Mason, the police officer sent to the scene, told Purtell to take the “tombstones” down or he would be arrested for disorderly conduct.

a close up of a bird: A muster of roaming peacocks is making feathers fly among neighbours in a Surrey neighbourhood.© Rafferty Baker/CBC A muster of roaming peacocks is making feathers fly among neighbours in a Surrey neighbourhood.

The dispute over peacocks in a Surrey neighbourhood escalated late Monday after police responded to reports that a bylaw officer on a bird-related call had allegedly been assaulted.

It's the latest twist in the saga of the controversial muster of peacocks populating the residential area around 150 Street and 62 Avenue.

The birds have been a mainstay for decades, but recently some residents have found their growing presence overwhelming .

The issue came to light in early May when a resident cut down a large tree that had served as a night roost for many of the birds .

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The war of words over problem peafowl in a Surrey neighbourhood is escalating . For years, a muster of feral peacocks had been a fixture of the Sullivan Heights area at 150th Street and 62nd Avenue 1 hour before Police trying to identify woman whose body was found near waterfront trail in Whitby.

According to city officials, there are up to 150 peacocks in the area. Some residents have complained the birds produce too much noise, droppings, and even attack cars and property.

Jas Rehal, Surrey's manager of bylaw enforcement, said a bylaw officer responded to a complaint on Monday night.

"We received a complaint that someone was feeding peacocks," Rehal said, noting you can receive a $250 fine for feeding the fowl.

"Once the officer was there investigated, he was assaulted by the property owner. He called the police."

Surrey RCMP confirmed multiple units responded to the call, as is standard procedure when an officer is in distress.

a bird sitting on a branch: City officials estimate there are up to 150 peacocks in the neighbourhood.© Rafferty Baker/CBC City officials estimate there are up to 150 peacocks in the neighbourhood.

'Someone's peacock hobby farm'

Neighbour Julie Greg said she heard a bunch of sirens and came out to investigate.

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"We saw about anywhere from six to seven squad cars and a fire truck. Shortly after an ambulance came, then we heard the choppers," Greg said.

Neighbours say the property in question has a rather large feeding and housing shed for the peacocks.

Another neighbour, Ryan Cragg, said the property looks like a small hobby farm.

"This is not a bird feeder you pick up at Home Depot," Cragg said.

"There's a rather large food source, and over on that side there's a water source as well. So ultimately we've got someone's peacock hobby farm, and it's a hobby they've been inflicting on the neighbourhood for the past 10 years."

a person that is standing in the grass: Resident Lance Smart next to his neighbour's shed, which some neighbours say has food and water for the peacocks.© Rafferty Baker/CBC Resident Lance Smart next to his neighbour's shed, which some neighbours say has food and water for the peacocks.

But not all the neighbours mind the birds.

Lance Smart, who lives next to the house that generated the complaint, says everyone feeds the birds.

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"They've been here over 40 years. This is their home [and] 95 per cent of the people love these birds … Where's the humanity? Where's the respect?" Smart said.

"There's nothing wrong with helping nature because nature needs a hand."

'Neighbours pitted against neighbours'

But Greg says the City of Surrey has dragged its feet for far too long on the issue, and now there are so many peacocks that it's even more difficult to come up with a solution.

"We've got neighbours pitted against neighbours. There's police involved now. It's so out of hand," she said.

Rehal says he understands there's a lot of passion and tension around the issue.

"We're urging everybody to stay calm," he said.

"We've committed to having a forum and it's taking longer than originally planned. We've reached out to experts and municipalities who have dealt with this before. We're just getting that information together."

Rehal said the bylaw officer is OK, if a bit shaken up.

a close up of a bird: Feeding peacocks will you net you a $250 fine under Surrey bylaws.© Rafferty Baker/CBC Feeding peacocks will you net you a $250 fine under Surrey bylaws.

With files from Rafferty Baker

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Source: http://ca.pressfrom.com/news/canada/-77873-police-called-as-surrey-neighbourhoods-peacock-dispute-escalates/

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