Do you feel a licence fee would sway your local government?

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by keedokes, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. keedokes

    keedokes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2009
    Milwaukee, WI
    I noticed another thread about licensing fees, and the original poster was worried about how much they were paying per year to license their flock, and it got me thinking.

    Do you feel that a license fee would sway a local government towards allowing micro flocks in the community? I mean, revenue is always good, right? I'm drafting ideas for working on our urban village, and thought maybe this would work.

    We license dogs and cats at the same amount: $24 for unaltered, $12 at altered, with proof of rabies vaccination. What do you guys think? $24 for a flock? Per coop? Should Mareck's vaccine be required for each bird? What about the H5N1 (Avian Flu) vaccine when it comes out?

    This is the wording of the proposal I want to make:

    No person shall own more than four (4) hens; roosters are not permitted. No person shall place a coop, pen, housing, or enclosure closer than 25 feet to any neighboring residence. All coops, pens, housing, and enclosures shall be clean and free from insects and disagreeable odors, and hens will be restrained and enclosed at all times on the premises; hens will not be permitted to roam at large. Hens are permitted outside of their coops, pens, housing, and enclosure only when under direct supervision. Feed will be stored in airtight containers impenetrable to rodents and flies. Chickens are to be considered pets and are not to be raised for meat; butchering will not be permissible within city limits.

    I could easily add something about licensing fees.



    Thanks for your time, guys!​
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Sorry, I think you need to go back to the drawing board. Do some research on the wording for cities that already allow chickens and begin there. My specific objections are:

    I am always opposed to forbidding roosters. What if someone wants a house rooster (yes, I DO know of some)? What if someone is willing to build a soundproof coop?

    Ordinances should place limits on nuisances, not the cause of the nuisance. An ordinance allowing chickens should state that they are subject to all other noise, odor, pest and other nuisance ordinances, not create special rules.

    How I store my feed is my business, not the city's.

    I would also object to an ordinance that did not allow me to free range my birds on my property in whatever manner I so choose, which specifically means that they can be outside and unattended if I so choose as long as they are on my property. What needs to be stated is that they are not allowed to be at-large (off property).

    Coop placement should be in accordance with the same rules and regulations and setbacks as for dog houses/kennels and storage or garden sheds.

    Not everyone who lives in the city has chickens only as pets anymore than everyone has chickens only as livestock. People keep them for different reasons, and limiting them to one reason is as bad as it is to limit them to a different reason.

    Larger property size should allow for larger flocks.
     
  3. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    I don't think it's a bad thing to require that feed be stored in a manner that does not attract rodents, when you're regulating city kept flocks.

    I agree that there's no need for the government to stick its nose into feed storage in general, but in the case of city flocks, you really do need to protect neighbors from someone creating a nuisance that attracts racoons, opossums, rodents or insect infestations when the feed is right on the other side of the fence.

    I lived on a city lot while in school, and we had a neighbor who would "dogsit" for her bf's dog by leaving it loose in her 20'x20' yard with an open bag of dog food left out for it when she would disappear for a week at a time. She was feeding every critter in the neighborhood, and before long we were up to our [​IMG] in racoons and opossums. Someone leaving a buffet out right next door is the sort who makes for getting urban chickens banned for everyone else.

    I think you would want to change "rodents or flies" to "rodents or insects" ... just a minor nitpick ...

    I do think bribing the city with a $10 a year or so license fee would be a way to generate some city council support. They will get stuck with a lot of costs handling complaints and enforcement issues as soon as people start keeping birds, even if the birds are legal.

    The rooster thing is a tough one. They can be successfully kept, but they're much more likely to generate complaints than hens. You colud consider an ordinance that does not allow roosters in general, but permits one to be kept for show breeding, subject to compliance with city noise ordinances, and with a separate $25 a year license to deter casual rooster ownership but permit a small-scale show breeder to keep one. In my opinion, it's that or no roosters if you're trying to get an ordinance put through in an urban area (not small town ...) where lots are very small.

    Edit: I don't necessarily disagree with Sonoran, but I noticed that the OP was posting from Milwaukee ... I've lived there, and the area I lived in had a lot of small lots. It would likely be hard to push through a chicken-friendly ordinance that didn't place a lot of emphasis on protecting the neighboring property holders from nuisance because of the population density in the city. That city is fairly small geographically, with a lot of outlying suburbs that are separately governed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    I agree that you have to provide a balance between varying interests, but I read so many threads where there is no balance at all--for the chicken owner. I think that mentioning that the birds must comply with all nuisance ordinances (and even listing the existing ones) is a start. Mentioning that roosters are allowed, but that extra care must be paid towards preventing nuisance violations seems reasonable.

    When the city starts telling me how I can and cannot store my dog or cat food, or even food for bird feeders, then I'll think about being willing to consider it reasonable for them to tell me how to store my chicken feed. A simple phrase about "keeping the birds in a manner that does not attract unwanted wild animals such as raccoons and opossum" would be better than telling me how to store my feed. Not only does it apply towards more than feed, but it also allows me the choices of how I meet that. If my feed is in my garage or laundry room, why would I need to have it in an airtight container which can (and does) allow mold to proliferate? A locked metal trash can is not necessarily airtight, but I think it would prevent a raccoon from getting into it?

    By the way, I live well inside city limits in a metroplex that has a population of well over 4 million.

    I think when you start getting into lots of specifics you are giving up rights that shouldn't be given up. Should we start legislating what kind of bedding must or cannot be used? How about listing the breeds that are allowed (or not)? Why can only a person raising their birds for breeding and exhibition have roosters, and not someone who simply enjoys them as yard candy and flock protection (hawks are in cities)? Again, I have no objection to specific mention that all birds are subject to all nuisance ordinances.
     
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Honestly, this city requires an annual "dog license" for every dog over 4 months of age. It must be purchased at the same time as the annual Rabies shot.

    Guess how many dog owners purchase it??? (hint: my dog is well over 4 months and I never have)


    No person shall own more than four (4) hens; roosters are not permitted. No person shall place a coop, pen, housing, or enclosure closer than 25 feet to any neighboring residence. All coops, pens, housing, and enclosures shall be clean and free from insects and disagreeable odors, and hens will be restrained and enclosed at all times on the premises; hens will not be permitted to roam at large. Hens are permitted outside of their coops, pens, housing, and enclosure only when under direct supervision. Feed will be stored in airtight containers impenetrable to rodents and flies. Chickens are to be considered pets and are not to be raised for meat; butchering will not be permissible within city limits.

    1) Is there a rule about dog houses, or other animal sheds?? Chicken rules should be the same
    2)Is there a rule that all dogs/cats/pets have to be inside a kennel?? They are allowed anywhere on your own property then chickens are too.
    3)Are there rules about storage of dog/cat/horse feed in your area? Chicken rules should be the same
    4) Are there rules that all dogs must be pets and cannot be "working dogs"??? Then the reason you keep chickens should be your own choice as well.
    5)Are there rules that say that you cannot bring a deer home and clean/process it in your back yard??? Then butchering chickens should fall under the same rules.​
     
  6. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    I don't approve of license fees in general because I believe that people should be allowed to do as they please with their own property.

    BUT, given that its commonly accepted and largely reasonable to have dog tag fees for the purpose of rabies prevention and the enforcement of leash laws, I think that a rooster fee would be appropriate for the purpose of reducing noise violations and enforcing anti-cockfighting laws.
     
  7. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Quote:1) Is there a rule about dog houses, or other animal sheds?? Chicken rules should be the same
    2)Is there a rule that all dogs/cats/pets have to be inside a kennel?? They are allowed anywhere on your own property then chickens are too.
    3)Are there rules about storage of dog/cat/horse feed in your area? Chicken rules should be the same
    4) Are there rules that all dogs must be pets and cannot be "working dogs"??? Then the reason you keep chickens should be your own choice as well.
    5)Are there rules that say that you cannot bring a deer home and clean/process it in your back yard??? Then butchering chickens should fall under the same rules.

    Dog licenses help fund the local county animal shelters and is required for all dogs in most counties. These shelters or animal control provide services such as checking on complaints of animal neglect and abuse, temporarily housing animals for adoption, spaying or neutering, and to offer other humane services. It also is the law because it allows a way for the county to safeguard its animal and human population to be sure all dogs have a current Rabies vaccination. Rabies is easily transmissible and is almost always fatal unless treated immediately. Of course there are always people who don't follow every rule (I agree some are questionable) but it doesn't mean we should ignore this one. If we want to be law abiding chicken owners lets try to stay compliant in all animal laws to show we are responsible and trustworthy care takers. I volunteer (they have such limited funds they cannot afford to pay enough employees to keep it going) at a local shelter and its shocking, sad and sometimes joyous. OK, off my soapbox.
     
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:1) Is there a rule about dog houses, or other animal sheds?? Chicken rules should be the same
    2)Is there a rule that all dogs/cats/pets have to be inside a kennel?? They are allowed anywhere on your own property then chickens are too.
    3)Are there rules about storage of dog/cat/horse feed in your area? Chicken rules should be the same
    4) Are there rules that all dogs must be pets and cannot be "working dogs"??? Then the reason you keep chickens should be your own choice as well.
    5)Are there rules that say that you cannot bring a deer home and clean/process it in your back yard??? Then butchering chickens should fall under the same rules.

    Dog licenses help fund the local county animal shelters and is required for all dogs in most counties. These shelters or animal control provide services such as checking on complaints of animal neglect and abuse, temporarily housing animals for adoption, spaying or neutering, and to offer other humane services. It also is the law because it allows a way for the county to safeguard its animal and human population to be sure all dogs have a current Rabies vaccination. Rabies is easily transmissible and is almost always fatal unless treated immediately. Of course there are always people who don't follow every rule (I agree some are questionable) but it doesn't mean we should ignore this one. If we want to be law abiding chicken owners lets try to stay compliant in all animal laws to show we are responsible and trustworthy care takers. I volunteer (they have such limited funds they cannot afford to pay enough employees to keep it going) at a local shelter and its shocking, sad and sometimes joyous. OK, off my soapbox.

    I never said my dog was unvaccinated, now did I??

    The vets in the city are required to sell you some pricy tag that is as big as a 3x5 index card....for what purpose I don't know. IN addition to the regular Rabies tag.

    Just go to a county vet to get your Rabies shot/tag, and you're still legal and still protected, without paying an additional TAX.
    It's still MY choice which vet I see, right? [​IMG]

    I should also edit to add that I volunteered at my shelter --- TWICE. Once by email, once in person I left contact info. They were begging for help on their website, help with transporting animals for adoption days and things of that nature, but did anyone ever contact me and say "come help xyz date for whatever event"??? NO.

    I don't think very highly of the shelter anymore, although I do appreciate the things that they do. I'll keep my money going towards shelters that aren't so uppity that they won't use a willing volunteer.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2009
  9. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    For city flocks. I still think it is not unreasonable to set rules about using rodent-proof containers for food kept outdoors. How you store things in your house is your own business.

    My one experience with the crazy dog lady that left dogfood out was enough for me. I live out in a more open area now, and if my neighbor wants to leave a bag of feed in his shed, I figure the rodents he attracts will be in his house rather than mine. It's another story when backyards are about 20'x30' and someone's inadvertantly feeding every racoon, opposum, and stray cat within a mile right on the other side of a fence 20' from your back door.

    I'm all for doing what you want with your own property, to a point. However, the closer people have to live to each other, the more rules you're bound to need.
     
  10. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Oregon
    Quote:Dog licenses help fund the local county animal shelters and is required for all dogs in most counties. These shelters or animal control provide services such as checking on complaints of animal neglect and abuse, temporarily housing animals for adoption, spaying or neutering, and to offer other humane services. It also is the law because it allows a way for the county to safeguard its animal and human population to be sure all dogs have a current Rabies vaccination. Rabies is easily transmissible and is almost always fatal unless treated immediately. Of course there are always people who don't follow every rule (I agree some are questionable) but it doesn't mean we should ignore this one. If we want to be law abiding chicken owners lets try to stay compliant in all animal laws to show we are responsible and trustworthy care takers. I volunteer (they have such limited funds they cannot afford to pay enough employees to keep it going) at a local shelter and its shocking, sad and sometimes joyous. OK, off my soapbox.

    I never said my dog was unvaccinated, now did I??

    The vets in the city are required to sell you some pricy tag that is as big as a 3x5 index card....for what purpose I don't know. IN addition to the regular Rabies tag.

    Just go to a county vet to get your Rabies shot/tag, and you're still legal and still protected, without paying an additional TAX.
    It's still MY choice which vet I see, right? [​IMG]

    I should also edit to add that I volunteered at my shelter --- TWICE. Once by email, once in person I left contact info. They were begging for help on their website, help with transporting animals for adoption days and things of that nature, but did anyone ever contact me and say "come help xyz date for whatever event"??? NO.

    I don't think very highly of the shelter anymore, although I do appreciate the things that they do. I'll keep my money going towards shelters that aren't so uppity that they won't use a willing volunteer.

    You are correct--you do have a choice of which vet to use. I don't know what the 3x5 tag is, we don't have that and I live in a large city!

    As for the shelter, perhaps they are so short staffed they are too overwhelmed to do what they really need--contact those who already showed interest to help. The other possibility is they are poorly organized--too bad when you were so willing to help.
     

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