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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Of Roosters and Pit Bulls

Two articles caught my eye today, both on the topic of limiting animals in residential areas.

The LA Times reports that the Los Angeles City Council passed a law yesterday that caps the number of roosters per parcel of private property at one unless the property is a "permitted and licensed commercial, agricultural or industrial business" on a street with the proper zoning. 

On the other coast, the New York Times reports that, effective May 1st, the New York City Housing Authority banned pit bulls and other dog breeds which may grow larger than 25 pounds from public housing.  The policy has thus far caused 113 dogs to be surrendered to shelters, including 49 which have been euthanized.  Given that the policy covers 178,000 apartments, it is likely that a number of residents have not yet surrendered their pets.

It seems that interesting cross-currents are at work here.  I have seen a number of articles dealing with municipalities becoming more permissive of chickens as the twin concerns of local food and recession have encouraged urban flocks.  At the same time, attempts continue to limit the size and breeds of permitted dogs.  Much of this activity (limiting and permitting) is done through zoning and land use regulations.

Tanya Marsh

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