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Date: 31/03/16

Some Chicken? Some Nick!

We know that we are so encumbered by obscure and bizarre laws in our society that it is scarcely possible to get out of bed of a morning without breaking at least three ordinances.

I drew your attention a couple of years ago to the apparent existence of a criminal offence called, "Failing to meet the needs of a goldfish". If the website of our local hack-rag this morning is to be believed, it isn't just our finned friends who are rather well-protected, but our feathered ones as well:

Screenshot from a local paper report of two people being convicted of 'possessing hen erosion with intent to supply'

This leads to a number of questions. Firstly, how exactly does one erode a hen? Does one wait for a passing glacier and throw the poor bugger under the front of it? Are wire brushes involved, or will low-grade sandpaper meet the job (which, I assume, makes up the 'intent to supply' part of the charge)? Does the process apply equally to all breeds, or does it have to be an Erode Island Red?

Or is it one of those awful euphemisms which have grown like lichen over public discourse in recent times, where one no longer 'plucks' a hen (because 'pluck' sounds like something else which might cause well-bred young ladies to get the vapours), but instead one 'erodes' it? And then, presumably, fills pillows with the spoil?

Whatever. Next time you see a hen, perhaps standing nervously at the roadside wondering whether to and why, plu...sorry...erode up the courage to take her gently by the wing and assure her that our legal system will always press for the strongest possible punishment for those ne'er-do-wells who might be tempted to abrade a chicken.