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County Codifies Rooster Limits

Audio

Aired 9/13/11

Most San Diego County residents will be allowed to keep just one rooster under an ordinance approved today as part of an effort to curb problems related to the birds.

Most San Diego County residents will be allowed to keep just one rooster under an ordinance approved today as part of an effort to curb cockfighting, eliminate the potential for the birds to become a public nuisance and to insure they are kept in humane conditions.

The ordinance passed 4-1, with Chairman Bill Horn dissenting. At a previous meeting, Horn said cockfighting should be a felony, as it is some other states.

Colleague Dianne Jacob, the board supervisor, agreed.

"Cockfighting is a disgusting, barbaric activity which masquerades as a sport and creates overly aggressive roosters that are ultimately destroyed when animal services proceeds with enforcement action on the cockfighting rings," she said.

The ordinance requires roosters to be untethered and kept in humane conditions, with enough room to fully spread their wings. Enclosures must also be kept at least 50 feet from homes.

The limits, based on lot sizes, are set to take effect Jan. 1, to give people time to comply with the ordinance.

Properties of less than a half-acre will be limited to one rooster.

Up to four roosters will be allowed on lots of at least an acre, six on five acres, and as many as 20 roosters on properties larger than five acres.

The new rules will not apply to commercial poultry operations, approved 4-H Clubs or Future Farmers of America projects, schools, animal shelters or animal welfare organizations which employ humane officers.

Under state law it is a misdemeanor to keep, possess or train any bird with the intent of using it for fighting. Several counties have passed similar laws in an effort to stop cockfighting.

"Cockfighting, like dog fighting, are criminal activities and, unfortunately, California does not punish them sufficiently," Supervisor Pam Slater-Price said.

Since 2000, Department of Animal Services investigations have resulted in more than 100 arrests, confiscation of cockfighting paraphernalia, such as spurs or gaffs, and the euthanasia of thousands of fighting birds, according to county data. Each year, the department's officers conduct thousands of investigations, ranging from minor violations to felony animal cruelty cases.

Comments

Avatar for user 'finchwench'

finchwench | September 13, 2011 at 1:51 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Well, thanks to all supervisors except Chairman Horn, maybe next year, there will be a cap on canaries and Saffron Finches too. Of course, restricting the personal property rights of innocent individuals in a marginal community is a small price to pay so that our "officials," who were elected and/or are already paid well to solve problems and seek out better ways to enforce laws on record, can have it easier. Way to think outside of the box and straight into someone else's backyard.

Readers should check out the arguments against (go to ~1:02). And check out some of the lame and obviously contradictory testimony in favor (~2:04).

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Avatar for user 'finchwench'

finchwench | September 13, 2011 at 1:56 p.m. ― 3 years ago

Since links are not displayed . . .

Well, thanks to all supervisors except Chairman Horn, maybe next year, there will be a cap on canaries and Saffron Finches too [1]. Of course, restricting the personal property rights of innocent individuals in a marginal community is a small price to pay so that our "officials," who were elected and/or are already paid well to solve problems and seek out better ways to enforce laws on record, can have it easier. Way to think outside of the box and straight into someone else's backyard.

Readers should check out the arguments against [2]. And check out some of the lame and obviously contradictory testimony in favor [3] .

[1] http://articles.cnn.com/2009-07-27/justice/connecticut.finch.fighting_1_finches-birds-seized?_s=PM:CRIME
[2] http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1270 (go to ~1:02)
[3] http://sdcounty.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=1259 (go to ~2:04)

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Avatar for user 'MrsCrump'

MrsCrump | September 13, 2011 at 3:39 p.m. ― 3 years ago

"The limits, based on lot sizes, are set to take effect Jan. 1, to give people time to comply with the ordinance." And how are people who are over the limit supposed to comply? Are we supposed to have a mass rooster slaughter? And this is supposed to be humane? Where are these newly illegal birds supposed to go? There will be a lot of dead pet roosters if people comply with this.

Some of the birds effected by this limit are valuable animals and or loved pets. Contrary to the belief of many, 99.999% of roosters are not for fighting and it is possible to control rooster noise. You can even go on the county website and find information about it. I keep mine in the garage at night but that would violate the new 50 ft rule. Even if you live in an agricultural zoned area you can't breed chickens? What's more agricultural than poultry? This makes no sense.

I predict an increase in the enrollment in 4H clubs.

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Avatar for user 'MrsCrump'

MrsCrump | September 13, 2011 at 3:42 p.m. ― 3 years ago

One more thing,since the main argument for this ordinance (violation of which is only a misdemeanor) is that cockfighting is a misdemeanor, if California makes cockfighting a felony can we have our roosters back?

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