Do you have farm animals in town? A mandatory register may be for you

At a time when there is an emphasis on equal rights, even animals – from dogs and chickens to goats, horses and even therapy animals – and their owners must be taken into account.

That was one of the conclusions of the city’s planning and development committee meeting on Tuesday.

After discussing and debating what constitutes a nuisance, how to enforce restrictions, and which animal species should or should not be allowed in the city, the group covered a range of options and repercussions.

The animals prevailed, for the most part. In the end, the group agreed to come up with a recommendation to use the resolution drafted by City Manager Rachael Tabelski, plus some edits. This will go to City Council for consideration and possible vote. A public hearing will be held before a final decision is made, committee chair Duane Preston said.

“We are only making a few recommendations to the city council. At this point, the public hearing will be open to anyone who wishes to come and express their concerns,” Preston said. “So they have to hold a public hearing. Those who have animals who would like to attend can come and give their opinion to the municipal council. »

turner_and_kid_goats.jpgJill Turner and her neighbor on Burke Drive, Teresa Potrzebowski, each think they have a valid argument for one side or the other of the question. They disagree on whether Turner’s goats should remain on his property.

Turner told the Batavian previously that when she moved to the West End, there were no laws regarding her four goats. Her daughters spend time with the goats, one is in 4-H and the other daughter uses the animal for therapy, Turner said. Moreover, she does not think they are destructive or threatening to her neighbors as some have claimed.

That’s not Potrzebowski’s experience, she said ahead of Tuesday’s meeting. When she moved in, there were no goats, and “I wouldn’t have moved in if there had been,” she says. There is noise, bad smells and goats constantly coming out of their little shelter, she says. Turner also has chickens and ducks, and all three types of farm animals come to his yard.

“I came home bringing groceries and two big ones came into my garage,” she said.

Goats ate neighbors’ flowers and relieved themselves on their properties, she said.

“It smells like you live next to a farm,” she said.

Councilman John Canale raised the issue at a recent council meeting, based on complaints from residents about these goats. He attended the planning and development meeting but would not comment because he will have to vote on a resolution in the future and lives in the neighborhood, he said.

Committee member Matt Gray did his own research on “a number of towns and cities in the same boat” and found that many of those municipalities had made the decision to restrict animals.

“I found a lot of them leaning the same way we do,” he said.

About 17 out of 25 cities had restrictions, particularly on roosters, Gray said. He suggested adding them to a list of banned animals in the city. This raised further questions about if animals are allowed, how many should be allowed? What measures would be put in place to ensure proper enforcement when restrictions are breached?

david_beatty.jpg“The city would be responsible for a lot of the enforcement,” said member David Beatty. “I think whatever we recommend, the app is the most important thing. How do you apply it? How do you get cooperation from people who own animals? How problematic would that be? »

At one point, he offered to not allow any animals in town.

“There would be an uprising,” Beatty said.

Code Enforcement Officer Doug Randall explained that a law cannot affect only one segment of the population. It has to cover everyone, he said. Currently, however, a dog owner can receive repeated tickets for their dog barking continuously if the problem has not been addressed.

For a goat?

“No tickets. We don’t have a law for that,” Randall said.

About an hour later, the committee agreed to pass a resolution with the additions of limiting chickens to six, banning roosters from being kept in the town, and requiring town residents to register their animals before a certain date, to be determined by council whether to adopt the recommendation or not be permitted to keep the animal on his city property. Registering animals will allow people who already have chickens, goats and the like to keep them, and should make it easier to track who has what and where, Randall said.

The resolution “prohibits persons from owning, bringing, possessing, keeping, harboring or feeding any farm animals, cloven-hoofed animals, equines or poultry, including but not limited to , cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, pigs, llamas, alpacas. , ducks, turkeys, geese, feral cats, ponies, donkeys, mules or any other farm or wild animal within the city limits. »

Exceptions include:

  • Chickens, as long as they are properly housed, do not accumulate droppings or cause odor or an unsightly or unsafe condition. The addition, if approved, would limit them to six.
  • Harborage, including transportation to and from race tracks and all associated grounds.
  • Special events with the approval of an event request.
  • Animals in transit in the city.
  • Transportation to and from veterinary hospitals/clinics including short term boarding for medical procedures/conditions.
  • No person shall permit the accumulation of animal and/or poultry excrement on any property resulting in a foul odor or unsightly condition which makes travel or residence in the vicinity uncomfortable, or which attracts flies or pests. other animal insects, thereby creating an unsanitary condition and may facilitate the spread of diseases which endanger the comfort and rest of the public.

The registration obligation would concern people who already have farm animals on their property. If they don’t register an animal by the deadline, it will have to leave.

Potrzebowski doesn’t want trouble with any neighbors, she said, but the recommendation didn’t fulfill her wish not to have to care for animals at all.

“It defeats the purpose of having to register them,” she said.

Top photo: Planning and Development Committee members Matt Gray, left, David Beatty and Chairman Duane Preston discuss the possibilities of what to do with farm animals kept in the city on Tuesday evening. File photo of Jill Turner, pictured with one of her daughters in front, is a town resident with goats, and some of her neighbors have complained they don’t want the smell and noise created by goats, chickens and other farm animals. David Beatty, a member of the committee, argues in favor of restricting, if not banning, farm animals from city properties. Photos by Joanne Beck.

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