Monday, August 21, 2006

Chicken Wars

They continue. I guess maybe I shouldn't use the pejorative, and come up with some other way of referring to the ongoing struggle to save the Key West Chickens. But those are the words that come to mind when I think of what's going on here.

When I posted the Letter to the Editor from Chris Guinto on the 10th, I had no idea what it was going to lead to. There were a couple of follow-up letters to that one by other citizens. Here's one that simply says, "spay/neuter, inoculate, then leave 'em alone". Another thinks that selling Hemingway cats to the rest of country might be a viable business opportunity for someone.

We also wrote to the editor to follow up on Katha Sheehan's inquiry to the City Commission about contracting to remove large numbers of Key West's flocks to a retirement farm on the mainland which she would establish. We've been told that the City is not rounding up any chickens because there isn't anywhere to bring them. We accept those assurances, even though we continue to get reports of City employees catching roosters and hens and taking them away in City trucks. We've also been told that the City has no interest in paying Katha to remove tbe birds.

Now we have in hand (actually, in e-mail) some more Guinto ugliness. It was supposedly published in a local paper last Thursday, but it isn't in any of the papers that I know about. I'm not going to put it in here. It is clever satire, but it's cruel in many parts. Guinto claims he is a state-authorized nuisance animal trapper. Well as of last night so am I. All it takes is to register on-line with the State of Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission.

I haven't decided whether to practice my new vocation but, if I do, I believe I'll specialize in geckos. And yes, if I do, I will carefully follow the State law that, among other things, demands that any trapping be done humanely and that trapped animals be released in a secure environment.

Chickens and cats, by the way, aren't classified as nuisance animals under state law. I'm not sure whether there is a law that covers poultry -- except for Muscovy Ducks, for some reason. I'll try to find out.


KettleCornBusiness said...

I did some RV camping at Key Largo and Sugarloaf Key. To see a very silly flash presentation about Florida, click here: The Dacrons flash travel blog WARNING: can get very silly at times. :-)

jack burton said...

I'm not sure if your aware of this or not, though did you know that Mr. Guinto is planning on running for the Mayor's office here in Key West next term? We live here in Marathon and know several people who use him to capture iguanas and 'nuisance' roseate spoonbills. Apparently he is quite serious about this endeavor and is planning on eradicating the entire chicken population not only in Key West, but all of Monroe County. And from what I understand he already has quite the political backing from the county. Rumor has it he was appointed by some town in upstate New York to exterminate their massive coyote endemic last year...
Jack Burton

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