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Miami agrees to do something about its peacock problem

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MIAMI (AP)

Peacocks may appear in some neighborhoods of South Florida after the Miami-Dade commission agreed to relax laws protecting the birds.

While the 20-year-old law still protects peacocks from harm, commissioners agreed Tuesday to allow cities to opt out if they put in place a suitable plan to humanely remove the birds. separated from areas they don’t want, Miami Herald report.

“The mating season is when we get the most complaints. They are very aggressive,” said sponsor Raquel Regalado, whose area includes residential areas in Coral Gables and Miami where the peacocks roam freely. “They lay eggs, they build nests, they peck at cars.”

Neighbors often clash over peacocks. Some love the colorful birds while others complain about the droppings, noise and damage they cause when parked in cars or homes.

“In my county, we learn to live with these peacocks,” said Commissioner Danielle Cohen Higgins, representing Palmetto Bay, which has designated itself a bird sanctuary. “They almost became part of the community. I know our residents will lose it when anyone harms any of these peacocks.”

Non-native species tend to be unwelcome in sunny Florida, where the state’s wildlife commission has encouraged killing iguana and Burmese python.

The 2001 county peacock ordinance was passed after a request that called for saving a flock of peacocks south of Miami-Dade, prohibiting killing or capturing them. The exemption allows homeowners to remove them, and one neighborhood did so in 2020 after an amendment allowed the removal of excess peacocks.

However, state laws on non-native species prevent them from being released back into the wild, and many sanctuaries will not accept them.

“We searched across the state to find a sanctuary or zoo that would accept them,” said Assistant Superintendent Kathy Labrada. “The alternative is euthanasia.”

Regalado initially tried to repeal the ordinance altogether, but other commissioners resisted to avoid killing the birds, the Herald reported.

“Are we talking about condemning peacocks to death now?” Commissioner Oliver Gilbert asked.

The commissioners ultimately agreed 5-4 to ease the law, allowing cities to opt out after submitting peacock “reduction” plans.

Regalado said the challenge for city leaders will be to find locations to relocate the peacocks, as cooling them off likely won’t win support.

“This is really not about killing,” she said. “This is about moving.”

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https://www.winknews.com/2022/02/03/miami-agrees-to-do-something-about-its-peacock-problem/ Miami agrees to do something about its peacock problem

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