Bayonne is looking to address the ownership of certain farm animals in the city.
The City Council is considering amendments to its health regulations, specifically when it comes to pigeons and poultry. The council introduced an ordinance authorizing the changes at its July meeting.
The ordinance would define farm animals to include, but no be limited to: “chickens, ducks, geese, pheasants, turkeys, quail, or other fowl, cows, goats, sheep, swine, horses, or cattle and such other animals as are typically raises on farms for domestic use.” The ordinance would also strictly prohibit said farm animals.
Per the ordinance, the breeding, keeping, harboring, raising, and or caring of farms animals would be “strictly prohibited within all zones including commercial and industrial property” within the city’s jurisdictional limits. The ordinance would also prohibit having other animals, such as the keeping, breeding, and raising of pigeons, on any property within Bayonne.
The ordinance would allow for some exemptions. Any resident breeding, keeping, harboring, raising and or caring for chickens and pigeons prior to the introduction of the ordinance, and who has registered with the Health Department, would be exempt until the registered animals are no longer living. Those residents would also need to comply with past practices related to chickens and pigeons.
Essentially, the ordinance would not ban residents who already own farm animals from keeping them, as long as they are registered. However, residents are now not able to own new farm animals, following the introduction of the ordinance.
According to Law Director Jay Coffey, the move follows two recurring problem areas in the city. In one instance, a rooster was causing trouble in one neighborhood. In another instance, a chicken coop has become a local eyesore.
As it turns out, the city does not have an ordinance that bans owning roosters and or chickens, which can be irritating to residents. Many municipalities, even those which permits residents to have farm animals, often ban roosters for reasons imaginable.
At the same time, the city did not have an ordinance on the book prohibiting the keeping of pigeons. Now this ordinance seeks to close the loophole and prohibit noisy roosters and the visually displeasing chicken coops, as well as pigeon ownership.
The ordinance will be up for a public hearing and vote later in August. The Bayonne City Council will meet next on August 17 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at 630 Avenue C. For more information, go to bayonnenj.org.
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