Chicken, Chicken, Who’s Got The Chicken

Today, the new law that outlaws backyard chicken farming in Hong Kong went into effect.

Immediately, a number of so-called local officials in the New Territories warned Government Inspectors that there would be clashes. People are upset that they won’t be compensated for their culled chickens. I thought Americans were caught up in an entitlement mentality but they obviously aren’t the only ones.

They accuse the government of trying to destroy their rural “lifestyle.” Don’t these people get it? If they catch Bird Flu, they have a 50% chance of having no lifestyle. While I am not a proponent of “Big Government,” I do believe that one of the functions of government is to protect its citizens from harm, if it can. This is clearly a case of the common good being served by a decision that is unpopular in some quarters.

The government is not trying to destroy a “lifestyle. It is trying to avoid an epidemic which would have disastrous consequences health-wise and economically. Selfishly protecting one’s chickens is not in anyone’s interest including the protectors.

Some of the chicken owners made the inane assertion that CEO Donald Tsang would not destroy his pet carp in a similar situation. Others talked about how these birds were like their children. I wonder if they eat their children because that’s eventually what they do with their chickens.

It does appear that good sense will prevail and most people will surrender their birds. I hope so.