This has all the hallmarks of a person or persons wishing to lure free-roaming cats into the middle of the road with the intention of causing the cats to be run over by a vehicle. This is what it looks like to me and I feel sure that the people living in the area where this is taking place have similar views. But can it be proved?
It is happening in the North of England, in Huddersfield, and residents of Fairfield Road are quite naturally questioning the motives of the people or person who is dumping cooked chicken in this manner. It would be bizarre but for the fact that it very obviously looks like an attempt to kill cats.
One of the residents asks whether it is a criminal act. That is highly debatable and I would be surprised if the RSPCA or the police decided that it was a criminal act. Although, my personal view is that it probably is. It is ‘attempted cat cruelty’ or ‘attempted cat killing’. Either way it could be considered a crime in England under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The problem is proving that the intention is to kill cats.
The perpetrator is having some success although he has not yet killed any cats. Local cats are attracted to the chicken and on one occasion a neighbor had to sound her horn when driving down the road to scare the cats away.
It has happened 4 to 5 times in the last two weeks in Huddersfield. It seems that the chicken is placed in the middle of the road between 9 am and 10 am.
Another issue is that somebody could be poisoning the chicken as well but if the intention was to kill cats that way there would be no need to place it on the road unless the perpetrator was employing a belt and braces technique.
My impression is that there is a person in the area who wants to kill cats which is supported by other rather strange incidents which have occurred in the past. For example, some raw chicken was found spiked with safety pins on a local recreation ground in April last year. And in 2015 the Huddersfield Daily Examiner reported on “potentially poisonous food” found at a local reservoir.
This is the first time I have read about this sort of behaviour by a person or persons who wishes to hurt cats. It’s another method. It’s rather obvious and crude. It is not surreptitious by which I mean that it is out in the open so people can remove the chicken if they spot it.
I think what I would try and do is set up a CCTV system on the street if the neighbours could afford it and if it was legal to do so. That might deter the individual. In favor of the cats is the fact that the road looks quiet.