May 6, 2006

US chicken ducks jaywalking fine

Chicken walking (Picture courtesy of
Domestic animals are not banned from highways
A chicken fined $54 for illegally crossing a road in California has had the charge thrown out by a court.

The fine was dismissed after a lawyer for the bird's owners argued that the fowl was domesticated and could not be classified as livestock.

California law bans livestock from highways, but not domestic animals.

Linc and Helena Moore had been fined on 26 March after their chicken wandered onto a road in the small rural mining town of Johannesburg in Kern county.

They were warned by their lawyer that if the bird continued to cross the road unattended they could face a minor misdemeanour infraction, the Daily Independent newspaper reported.


The Moores say they were fined because of their repeated complaints that local authorities had not done enough to curb off-road drivers.

"For the last two-and-a-half years, no-one has been able to stop the kids riding their bikes in the middle of the road or the neighbours' dogs running around our neighbourhood," Linc Moore was quoted as saying.

"But when our chicken escaped and crossed the road once it became a huge issue."

Officials from the sheriff's department rejected the allegations.

The couple are now seeking legal assistance to file harassment charges against Kern County's Sheriff Department.

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