Hens for Houston

A movement to keep Houston current by allowing the raising of chicken hens on city lots

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-Animal Control interviews

Posted by cjkrebs on June 12, 2012

In an effort to involve all parties, Hens for Houston has been in contact with Animal Control officers and spokespeople. A summary of the conversations is attached. 

From Bellaire Animal Control:
– There have been only 2 complaints in the past 7 years against chickens. Chickens in Bellaire are regulated only through the general nuisance ordianance, and restrictions against pets wandering off the owner’s property (no “roaming-at-large”). Hens for Houston would support this proven-to-work policy for Houston.
-In comparision, in 7 years there have been approximately ~800 dog-related complaints. (From an estimated average of 10/month.)
-Complaints against chickens were filed because of noise ordinance violations.

From Houston Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care (BARC):
Hens for Houston currently has a request filed with BARC  for a study of the dog and chicken related complaints filed in the city over a 2 year period. Results of this study will be published here July 2012.
– Most complaints are because of noise, smell or “roaming-at-large”, and are filed through the general Houston nuisance clauses. None of the complaints originate through the distance requirement clause for coops, and bolster’s Hens for Houston’s point that general animal control regulations are sufficient to respect the rights of neighbors.
– BARC spokesman expressed a willingness to listen and analyze Hens for Houston recommendations for an ordinance change. Key characteristics of a good ordinance, according to BARC, would:
  1) Have clear expectations for citizens (ie reduce irresponsible chicken keeping)
  2) Create effective enforcement tools for BARC officers

Hens for Houston is continuing to contact Animal Control offices throughout Texas to create a baseline for an appropriate, effective chicken ordiance. More information coming soon!


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