Council chickens out of caring for abandoned fowl

Photo: Rotterdam police

Six animal welfare organisations in the Rotterdam region have called on the city council to tackle the problem of abandoned poultry after a cockerel was abandoned in a hotel room at the weekend.

“Luckily, the cockerel was picked up by police after the animal ambulance service refused to collect the animal,” Comité Dierennoodhulp said. The bird later found refuge at Zwerfkip en Zo, which finds homes for abandoned animals.

A day earlier, the service reportedly also refused a call to take a wounded cockerel dumped by the side of the road to the vet.

Very few people are willing to house chickens and cocks, the organisations said, and there have been several incidences of dumped poultry in the city.

In a letter to the council, the organisations said not enough is being done to help the animals, although the city has a legal duty to do so. It should take a leaf out of Amsterdam’s book, which has a refuge for chickens and where the animal ambulance also picks up poultry, they said.

Police are still looking for the person who checked out of the hotel without taking the cockerel. The animal was found with a bag containing candles, incense and a knife, which could mean it escaped being ritually slaughtered.

The animal ambulance service in Rotterdam said a lack of volunteers to man the ambulance is to blame. “We have to prioritise, and it is almost impossible to find homes for poultry the way we can other animals,” a spokeswoman told broadcaster NOS.

Meanwhile, the abandoned cockerel will be found a place “where he can grow old in the company of a couple of hens,” Trini van den Bos of Zwerfkip en Zo said.

Thank you for donating to

We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.

Make a donation