Lindsay: Fowls may be out of bounds


Lindsay may ban a long list of animals from residential properties, including chickens and roosters and cap the number of total animals allowed on a single piece of land.

That was the general feeling provided by the Lindsay City Council during a study session on a possible animal control ordinance at the March 11 meeting. The council consensus fell closely in line with how the community as a whole felt, based on a survey conducted by the City. Between an online survey and written comments, 29 people responded to the city’s questions regarding what, if any, animals should be excluded from the accepted list of household pets. Comments ranged from reasonable to random, such as “I favor a simple ordinance saying animals need to be kept on your property but not too much regulation on how, which is hard to enforce,” and the less informative, “I Hate Cats!” There was even a suggestion that scorpions be included in the list of allowable pets.

Ninety-five percent of responses were that the ordinance should prohibit certain kinds of animals. The animals they wanted to ban fell into three main categories: 1. Livestock – horses, cows, goats, sheep, other equine, bovine, avian, etc.; 2. Zoo Animals – exotic, endangered, predatory, and poisonous; 3. – Fowl and Other Birds – ducks, geese, roosters, peacocks, fighting cocks, etc.

Three-quarters of respondents said the there should be a maximum number of pets allowed and the mean (the average without the highest and lowest) number for a maximum given was 5.5. The city was somewhat split on the idea of fowls as pets. About 55% said pigeons, doves, chickens, ducks and game birds should be prohibited. Eighty percent said the containment for fowl should be regulated, such as the requirement of a cage, hutch, pen or coop.

Ultimately, the City Council said it would like to see a resolution limiting the total number of animals to 10 and prohibiting livestock, zoo animals and roosters, but allow the raising of pigeons, chickens and doves in cages, coops or pens. City Planner Bill Zigler said he would return with an ordinance in the next month outlining household pet restrictions, bans, etc. The law was in response to citizen complaints in the last few months regarding roosters and chickens. At the Feb. 25 meeting, Danny Florez pleaded with the City Council to ban roosters within the city limits.

“You have done all of this work to beautify the city but allow noisy roosters,” Florez said. “I am just one voice but there are other people with similar stories here. Please do something about this.”

That meeting was also the first time the City Council had held a study session regarding an animal control ordinance. The issue of fowl and other birds as domestic pets has been handled with some similarities but under different types of ordinances. Porterville, Dinuba and Exeter and Woodlake handle the issue under animal control and both cities ban roosters. Exeter limits the number of fowl, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. to a total of 10. Woodlake doesn’t limit the total number of animals but requires that birds be on a one acre minimum parcel or not within 100 feet of another home. Tulare and Visalia handle roosters through a noise ordinance or an animal nuisance ordinance, limiting any crowing to daytime hours when most people are at work during the week or awake on the weekends.

The Lindsay City Council meets at 6 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month in Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 251 E. Honolulu St. in Lindsay.

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