Backyard Farming Regulatory Issues (Con’t)

MacKenzie Elmer reported earlier this week at The Des Moines Register Online that, “The Des Moines City Council put a proposition to ban roosters on hold after urban farmers cried fowl Monday night.

“The city’s chief humane officer suggested the change due to complaints over the crowing birds. After hearing arguments both for and against chicken farming in the capital city, council members halted a decisive vote, opting instead to spend more time tweaking the town’s pet ordinance.

“Martha Swanson, who lives on East 28th Street, told the council her neighbor’s rooster crows every 20 seconds from ‘4:30 in the morning until well past evening.'”

The article added that, “Tanya Keith, an urban farmer in the Riverbend neighborhood who’s against the ban, said she doesn’t want roosters to ‘torture’ fellow citizens. But Des Moines already has an ordinance that addresses nuisance noise and smell, she said.

“The proposed ordinance would also have required property owners to keep shelters, pens, coops and cages for fowl, rabbits, ferrets and other small animals a minimum of 25 feet from other residential and commercial buildings. Owners would have been required to keep coops in a ‘sanitary condition’ to ‘prevent odors perceptible at the property boundaries.'”

Enforcement of the rooster ban would have been complaint-based. The ordinance would have allowed any animal that’s been on a property since 2009, though one urban farmer noted that since roosters only live about eight years, the proposed ordinance would have effectively banned all roosters.”

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