By NANETTE LoBIONDO GALLOWAY
VENTNOR – Rest assured you won’t be waking up to the sound of roosters greeting the early summer sunrises in Ventnor. The Board of Commissioners April 23 introduced an ordinance amending Chapter 105 of the City Code to eliminate ownership of farm animals within the city’s borders.
The previous ordinance was titled, “The Keeping of Cats and Dogs,” and made no mention of farm animals, such as pigs, turkeys, chickens and roosters.
After a local resident called the Code Enforcement Department to ask if he could harbor chickens at his Ventnor home, city officials investigated the ordinance and agreed it needed to be updated to ban the ownership of farm animals in the city.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that “although keeping backyard poultry can be fun and educational, owners should be aware that poultry can sometimes carry harmful germs that make people sick,” including salmonella.
The new ordinance strikes wording in the old ordinance referring to “cats and dogs” and replaces it with the word “animals.” What makes the ordinance enforceable is the addition of a new “definition” of animal that excludes farm animals.
Dogs, cats, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, and certain species of reptiles, birds and tropical fish are ok, but the ordinance specifically excludes poultry, fowl, chickens, turkeys, roosters, pigs and any other animal typically considered a farm animal, which could mean no cows, bulls, goats, sheep or llamas.
Of course, you still cannot allow your dogs to run at large, you can’t walk them on the boardwalk, and you still have to curb your dog. The ordinance states strays will be “apprehended” and “impounded,” and the Dog Warden can make owners pay the fees to cover the cost.
Violators could be fined up to $50 per day and up to 90 days of community service.
A public hearing on the ordinance will be held 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 14.
Copyright Mediawize, LLC 2020