Man Imprisoned For Scaring 1,100 Chickens To Death Using a Flashlight

In China, there is a popular saying, “Kill the chicken to scare the monkey,” which implies that destroying a smaller opponent is an effective way to intimidate a larger adversary. However, a recent court case in China suggests that such tactics can backfire.

The case involves a man identified only by his surname, Gu, who was sentenced to prison for scaring to death 1,100 chickens belonging to his neighbor, Zhong, with whom he had been feuding. The dispute began when Zhong cut down Gu’s trees without permission in April 2022, and the situation escalated from there.

Gu sneaked onto Zhong’s chicken farm on multiple occasions, using a flashlight that caused the flock to panic. In the chaos that followed, hundreds of chickens were killed as they crowded into a corner in fear. The first time Gu trespassed onto his neighbor’s property, 500 chickens died, and he was apprehended by the police and forced to pay Zhong compensation of 3,000 yuan ($436). However, he returned a second time, killing 640 more chickens.

The Hengyang court in central China’s Hunan province found Gu guilty of intentionally causing “property loss” to Zhong and sentenced him to six months in prison with one year of probation. The 1,100 dead chickens were estimated to be worth a total of 13,840 yuan ($2,015).

This case serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of resorting to extreme measures to resolve a dispute. While it may seem like a small victory to destroy a smaller opponent, it can lead to severe legal and financial repercussions.