Animal control amendment passed

Published 5:50 pm Thursday, November 18, 2021

The Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Tuesday, Nov. 9, to amend the county’s Animal Control Ordinance to ban at-large poultry.

November marked the third month supervisors have discussed the subject. In the past, Board members have had difficulty coming up with a proper punishment for residents who allow their chickens, ducks and other fowl to run onto neighboring properties, leaving droppings and disturbing the land.

Section 10-3 of the ordinance now states that it shall be unlawful for any person to allow any poultry or livestock to run at large outside of the animal owner’s property boundary line or any unenclosed lot or ground within the county.

A violation of the section would result in a $25 fine for the first offense and any additional violations would constitute a class 4 misdemeanor, which could include a fine of up to $250.

District 1 Supervisor and Board Chair Brian Stanley, who in the past has raised questions about how enforceable such an ordinance would be, remarked during Tuesday night’s meeting that it would be challenging to prove certain poultry belong to a specific person, as many birds, such as guineas, tend to look alike.

District 2 Supervisor Ron Tavernier said an individual had accused the Board of attempting to terminate free-range chickens. Tavernier said the ordinance merely serves to restrict animals to the property of the owner.

“People should not have to fence their properties to protect themselves from other people’s animals,” Tavernier said.

A motion was made by Tavernier and seconded by District 5 Supervisor Robert Saunders Jr. to approve the code amendment. The motion passed 4-1 with only Stanley voting no.