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Judge Gives Peafowl Temporary Protection From Trapping Plan

October 06, 1985|GERALD FARIS | Times Staff Writer

A Los Angeles Municipal Court judge last week ordered a temporary halt to a controversial plan to trap and remove roaming peafowl from Palos Verdes Estates, and he scheduled a hearing for Oct. 22 to decide if the order will become permanent.

Judge John L. Cole issued the order after a conference in his chambers between attorneys for the city and for Friends of the Peacocks, which is seeking an injunction against the trapping plan on the ground that the city did not conduct environmental impact studies before approving it.

City Atty. Mark Allen would not disclose the city's argument in the case, and the Friends' attorney could not be reached for comment.

The City Council in September approved the controlled trapping of birds on private property by the Southern California Humane Society, which provides animal control services in the city. Trapped birds would be taken to a wildlife sanctuary until the city's two peafowl flocks are reduced by as many as 25 birds. After that, any trapped birds would be relocated in city parklands. Trapping would be done at the request of property owners.

Cole prohibited the city or any of its agents from trapping birds or removing them from the city, and he ordered the city not to promote or encourage such activity by anyone else.

The city's peafowl, which numbered 67 at last count, have been a source of controversy for years, pitting residents who value them as a unique community asset against those who find them noisy, damaging nuisances. The trapping plan was described as a middle ground between those who want the birds totally protected and those who want to eliminate them.

Trapping, which had been banned before enactment of the plan, had not yet begun because the city has not obtained traps.

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