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Seva Care defends allotment chickens treatment after complaints to Harrow Council

Seva Care defends allotment chickens treatment after complaints to Harrow Council

A care provider has defended its treatment of a group of allotment chickens after other plot holders voiced concerns about the welfare of the birds.

Seva Care, based in College Road, Harrow, uses chickens to support adults with learning difficulties. It houses the hens in four plots at a Harrow Council allotment site in Wood End Avenue near Roxeth Recreation Ground.

Other plot holders had voiced concerns about the welfare of the birds, suggesting they were not being cared for and said they had considered freeing them.

But Seva Care explained the chickens are visited at least once a day and the allotment officer and Harrow Council were “satisfied” with the situation.

Noopur Shah, marketing executive at Seva Care, said: “There is a timetable covering Harrow, Hayes and Ruislip and, every day, groups go down to clean the coops, feed the chickens, collect the eggs and so on.

“We did research on the coops and they were inspected by officers – we have done all we can to ensure the health and safety of the chickens.”

She added the group recently installed a larger area for the hens to move around in – other plot holders also noted this change.

Ms Shah explained the purpose of the programme – namely that the chickens are used to support those with learning difficulties.

“Things have been very negative from the beginning, but people need to see the benefits the chickens bring,” she said.

“People go down and tend to them every day, even in adverse weather. And we are not using the area as farmland.”

With regards to claims that other plot holders had considered freeing the birds, Ms Shah said it believes this would dangerous for the chickens. She said Seva Care had contacted the RSPCA.

A Harrow Council spokeswoman said it was aware of the opinions put forward by other allotment users and said it would carry out a health inspection at the site.

She added the council will write to Seva Care if it feels it is “not adhering to guidance” on allotment policies.

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