Henry falls a fowl of the law

Henry falls a fowl of the law

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Henry the rooster has resided independently on the streets of Armadale for 10 years. Photograph – Richard Polden.
Mervyn Mundy is hoping to find a new home for Henry. Photograph – Richard Polden.

A rebel rooster is raising a ruckus in Armadale, and it isn’t all because of his crowing. 
For ten years now, Armadale resident and rooster-neighbour, Mervyn Mundy, has called the cockerel his companion, despite his claim that the hen less heeler does not live at his home.
Now he fears for his feathered friend’s future, after he received a letter from the City of Armadale telling him to remove the rooster from his property by January 10.
But Mr Mundy claims the rooster is not his pet.
“The council came to me because they thought I owned him, but I’ve never owned a rooster in my life,” he said.
The City of Armadale told The Examiner that the letter was in response to a complaint “alleging the crowing of a rooster” on Mr Mundy’s property.
“Please be advised that the City of Armadale Environment, Animals and Nuisance Local Laws 2002 prohibit the keeping of roosters,” the letter reads.
“You are required to appropriately remove the rooster from your property by 10 January, 2022.”
But Mr Mundy says he has spoken with nearby residents and has even offered to try to catch the bird if Henry’s presence caused a nuisance.
“I have always been at pains to point out to anyone that asked that he is not my rooster, he does what he wants,” he said.
Speaking of the night he first encountered the rooster, whom he has nicknamed Henry, Mr Mundy told The Examiner:
“It was 10 years ago, I woke up at about three in the morning, it was a weekend, and I heard a noise outside.”
“I heard him crowing about but the sun wasn’t up, and I went out and thought, ‘he can’t have walked here, someone must have dropped him off,’” he said.
“I can only assume it was somebody’s idea of a joke.”
“Since he arrived he has eked out an independent life living off what he could find on the vacant blocks around my house,” said Mr Mundy.
“It’s only that he’s been around so long that I’m taking an interest in his well-being, as I assume the council will just put him down.”
But the City of Armadale has not made a decision on how they will proceed, after meeting with Mr Mundy on Tuesday.
“The city’s Environmental Health Officers are still deciding a fair outcome for all parties involved,” said a spokesperson.
Mr Mundy is hoping that, by spreading the word, he will be able to find a home for Henry to relax in his retirement.
“I wouldn’t like to see him put down because he’s been kicking around on this street for 10 years on his own.”
“Everyone I have ever spoken to about him say they are quite happy for him to stay,” he said.
“He has coexisted with his neighbours in the street, he crows a bit, but for a rooster he is pretty quiet as he has no lady friends or other roosters to crow against.”
“Henry is the most unstressed rooster I know.”