Ducks are fair game in Webster [update]
Those smelly, odd-looking ducks that pester people for food, litter their lawns with poop and trample landscaping have worn out their welcome in Webster.
This week the Webster City Council gave final approval to a change in the animal control ordinance that declares Webster a bird sanctuary. From now on, Muscovy ducks will be exempt from the ordinance prohibiting the capture or killing of any birds within the city limits.
Considered a nuisance by many homeowners in neighborhoods like Green Acres, Hidden Lake and Tranquility Lake, the ducks reproduce quickly, laying 8 to 16 eggs up to three times a year. The city already tried moving 350 ducks to the Exxon property on Highway 3 but had to stop when the birds started overrunning the place. Contraception and repellants haven't worked, so Webster's Public Works Department finally asked the council to take more drastic action.
Residents still can't just go out and shoot the ducks -- gun control laws still apply -- but they can hire pest-removal companies to take care of the problem.
Some of the city's other suggestions for "humane removal":
Find their nests and vigorously shake the eggs so they won't hatch. Return the eggs to the nest so the mother duck won't try to hatch more.
Make noise and chase the ducks away.
Don't feed them.
Originally from Mexico and South America, Carina moschata isn't native to this area and the populations that have gone feral most likely started out as pets or live lawn ornaments. Like other domestic animals, they're considered personal property under the law, so residents had best make sure the ducks they're going after are not a neighbor's beloved pet. There are no state or federal laws, however, that protect the ones with no owners from capture, according to the city.
But Webster warns that anti-cruelty laws still apply.
Webster's City Council will take a final vote on Tuesday, Jan. 19. See the city council agenda.
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