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Roosters may soon be illegal aliens in Hyrum neighborhoods

February 3rd, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Tara Alvey

HYRUM — Roosters, dogs and cats were a major part of business at Thursday’s City Council meeting. Because Hyrum is a very rural community, many families keep chickens and roosters for the purpose of having fresh eggs and meat. However, the city receives many complaints every summer from annoyed neighbors about roosters crowing quite early in the morning, around 4:30 a.m., and waking people up.

So far, the city has been addressing these complaints under the city nuisance ordinance, but last night the council discussed creating a separate ordinance that would ban all roosters from the city.

“I’ve done a bit of research on this subject since the issue was brought to our attention a few weeks ago,” said Councilwoman Stephanie Miller. “Hens do not need a rooster present to lay eggs, so this ordinance, if it passes, shouldn’t cause a problem for citizens that still want to have fresh eggs.”

If a resident already has rooster after the ordinance is passed, they will be required to inform the city of it; then if the city receives a complaint about that particular rooster, the owners will be asked to get rid of it.

Besides rooster, cats and dogs were also a point of discussion at the meeting. The state of Utah currently upholds a law that says if a dog bites someone, and it is reported, the dog must be held in confinement and observed by the city for 10 days.

Last night the council discussed the possibility of extending that observation period to 14 days. Council members also discussed the importance of making sure that each and every case is heard in front of a judge before the animal is released back to its owner.

Miller reminded the council that the city currently charges residents $15 per day if the city is holding their animal. “If a little old lady has a poodle that bites someone, $15 a day could get pretty expensive,” said Miller. She proposed that the city change the ordinance so that $150 is the maximum amount a person can be charged whether or not their animal is held for longer than 10 days.

The council also discussed changing the ordinance so that any person holding a daycare license and running a daycare for young children, be required to kennel and isolate their animals while children are in their home.

“Even a good dog will bite if it is being tormented and tugged on by children,” said Mayor Dean Howard.

“The best thing to do is just put the animal away when children are in the home. This also includes cats. A cat can sometimes scratch up a little kid pretty good,” said Howard.

These issues will be further discussed at the Feb. 16 city council meeting.


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