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A peacock sits on a fence in Surrey, B.C., on May, 2, 2018.JONATHAN HAYWARD/The Canadian Press

The mournful cries of peacocks could soon be silenced in a Surrey, B.C., neighbourhood after city council voted to roust the birds.

Council has approved a plan to trap about 100 peacocks and peahens and move them to the Surrey Animal Resource Centre, where public safety operations manager Jaspreet Rehal says requests for the birds have been received from as far away as Alberta.

The birds have been living in the increasingly urban Sullivan Heights neighbourhood for decades, after a farm in the area closed and the peafowl wandered free.

The birds nest on front porches and stroll across roofs and lawns, but recent complaints have been raised about their noise and mess, as well as the damage caused by sometimes aggressive males pecking at their reflections in windows or car doors Council has unanimously passed a motion that will see the gradual removal of the nests, eggs and birds from public areas, and provision for traps that allow homeowners to catch the birds on private property.

Rehal says the city must be firm if it wants to deal with the problem successfully and council has approved a fine of up to $450 for anyone protecting peafowl, while those caught feeding the birds face fines of up to $250.

Sullivan Heights resident Asif Massoud says disagreement is driving a wedge between neighbours who like the birds and those who don’t.

“It’s getting a bit ugly. I think that’s not healthy for the neighbourhood, like, it’s a family neighbourhood and this kind of dispute should be resolved,” says Massoud.

The issue came to a head this spring when one homeowner cut down a large tree in his yard because he was fed up with peacocks roosting in it.

At the time, Parm Brar said he had spent years trying to get the city and his local member of the legislature to take action.

Brar was fined for cutting down the tree without a permit.

A Surrey, B.C. neighbourhood is trying to get a handle on dozens of peacocks that have been living there since the subdivision was built over a decade ago. One resident had a tree where the peacocks perch cut down.

The Canadian Press

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