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Flap over Diss chickens hits national headlines and This Morning

PUBLISHED: 15:17 03 February 2020 | UPDATED: 15:17 03 February 2020

The problem of feral chickens in Diss beign discussed on This Morning between hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and guests Matthew Wright and Anne Diamond. Picture: ITV

The problem of feral chickens in Diss beign discussed on This Morning between hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and guests Matthew Wright and Anne Diamond. Picture: ITV

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Efforts to rid a housing estate of its flock of feral chickens has prompted national headlines including being featured on This Morning.

Up to 200 chickens have been living wild around homes on Ensign Way and Victory Court in Diss, though numbers are now around 30-40.
 Picture: Nick ButcherUp to 200 chickens have been living wild around homes on Ensign Way and Victory Court in Diss, though numbers are now around 30-40. Picture: Nick Butcher

South Norfolk Council has put up notices warning people they face £80 fine for littering if they continue to the chickens living wild around Ensign Way, Viscount Close and Victory Court in Diss.

This latest effort to rid the estate of the birds, including cockerels that loudly crow at dawn, has seen the problem hit the national headlines with reports on the BBC and ITV news and even making newspapers headlines as far afield as the US and Australia.

It also prompted a lively discussion on BBC daytime show This Morning between hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield and guests Matthew Wright and Anne Diamond.

MORE: People to be fined for feeding feral chickens on housing estate

Phillip Schofield said: "Why wouldn't you feed them and look after them? People just don't want them to go hungry. But are there health implications?"

One of the notices warning of fines for feeding chickens put up on the Diss estate. Picture: Simon ParkinOne of the notices warning of fines for feeding chickens put up on the Diss estate. Picture: Simon Parkin

Matthew Wright said: "No. It's council officials being busybodies. They'll never enforce it and all the signs are in the bin anyway."

The issue of how to tackle the problem was also discussed at a cabinet meeting of South Norfolk Council on Monday (February 3).

Officials said they were working closely with residents on what to do about the birds but there were different views about what they want to happen. The notices had been put up to make people aware had the power to issue fixed penalty notices, a spokesman said.

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