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Jennings City Council wants revisit chicken, livestock laws

Last Modified: Thursday, October 11, 2012 11:30 AM

By Doris Maricle / American Press

JENNINGS —  Though it may ruffle a few feathers, some residents want the City Council to rethink laws about keeping chickens and other livestock.

Cindy Satchell and Vince DeMarco complained about crowing roosters and foul odors in their neighborhoods.

“For a number of months we have had problems with roosters continuing to crow, not just in the daytime,” Satchell said. “It is a nuisance.”

Satchell and DeMarco presented Mayor Terry Duhon with letters from residents complaining that chickens, roosters and other livestock in their neighborhoods are noisy, smelly and could affect property values. Some also expressed concerns about  health issues.

“Putting up with the noise and the stench is just a nuisance,” Satchell said. “It all comes down to respect. I wouldn’t move next to you and start having goats and sheep as pets.

“I choose to live in the city because I love the city. I don’t want to be surrounded by chickens, goats or pigs.”

The couple wants the city to update its ordinances allowing residents to keep chickens, roosters and other animals in the city limits.

People have the opportunity to live in the country and rural areas if they want a farm, Satchell said.

DeMarco said the city’s ordinances are old and need to be updated.

“The way they are written now anyone can go out and start collecting farm animals,” he said. “ The ordinance is very general and not attached to any zoning, so it’s not fair. Distance (restrictions) doesn’t help when the wind changes.”

City Attorney Kevin Millican said the city’s ordinances deal with the placement and distance of the fowl and other animals on the property and nearby residences, but do not address noise or odor problems.

“We need to get more proactive with it because it is becoming more of a widespread issue,” Millican said.

He said police have responded to some of the complaints and one property owner has been cited with violating the noise ordinance as a result of the roosters and chickens.

Councilman Trey Myers said the issue is a “very touchy situation,” but one that needs to be addressed. “There is a guy raising roosters in my area,” Meyers said.

Millican said the council will look at amending its ordinance to include limiting the number of animals.

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