published Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Chattanooga Animal Control Board has deadline for animal ordinances

Chris Anderson answers questions during a meeting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial board.
Chris Anderson answers questions during a meeting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press editorial board.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
Should people be allowed to raise chickens in the city?

The Chattanooga Animal Control Board has a lot of homework to do if the city is going to become fowl friendly.

Board members have until June 25 to drum up their recommendations for if and how domesticated hens can live in harmony with homeowners in the city's residential areas.

The light reading for board members includes reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, articles by the American Veterinary Medical Association and so-called chicken ordinances from Knoxville and Nashville.

But chicken isn't the only thing on the board's plate.

The board met Monday to discuss comprehensive changes to the city's animal ordinances, including the permitting of performance animals -- chicken was a side item.

"Our goal is to give the council an entire, comprehensive package, not just the part about urban chickens," board Chairman Michael Mallen said.

Councilman Chris Anderson, who is spearheading a chicken ordinance that would allow city residents with enough yard space to keep up to 10 chickens, sat in on Monday's meeting, along with Councilwoman Carol Berz.

The City Council voted last week to defer a vote on Anderson's proposed ordinance until the animal control board could read it and make a recommendation.

One of the key concerns of council members was to make sure the city had resources to enforce new ordinances -- and house chickens that had to be removed from their coops.

The June deadline will give council members a week to read the plan and discuss it on July 2.

Animal control board members don't have authority to write ordinances, so they will provide the council with a draft for consideration.

about Louie Brogdon...

Louie Brogdon began reporting with the Chattanooga Times Free Press in February 2013. Before he came to the Scenic City, Louie lived on St. Simons Island, Ga. and covered crime, courts, environment and government at the Brunswick News, a 17,000-circulation daily on the Georgia coast. While there, he was awarded for investigative reporting on police discipline and other law enforcement issues by the Georgia Press Association. For the Times Free Press, Louie covers Hamilton County ...

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