Commissioners mull regulations for pet roosters
by Joshua Sharpe
May 12, 2013 12:00 AM | 1585 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Cherokee County can now be added to the list of north Georgia counties mulling possible regulations on backyard fowl, with the Board of Commissioners choosing to tackle the issue of “nuisance” pet roosters at its meeting last Tuesday.

Post 1 Commissioner Harry Johnston brought the issue before the board and asked his fellow commissioners to vote with him and request that County Attorney Angela Davis research adding “roosters not used for food production” to the county’s animal control ordinance as “potential nuisance animals.”

The vote was unanimous.

Johnston said county authorities recently received a complaint of a “rooster farm” in rural northern Cherokee County, where roosters are being raised for what appears to be “fighting purposes.”

The resident who made the complaint lives near the home with the rooster farm.

She declined to give her name after Tuesday’s meeting for fear of conflict with her neighbors, but Johnston confirmed her identity.

The woman said she isn’t looking for trouble, but the noise is almost constant and she has had enough.

“If I open my door and I don’t hear them, it’s amazing,” she said. “After so long, I just can’t do this anymore. I can’t listen to this anymore.”

The noise has been a problem for so long, she said she wonders if she’ll have to move to get away from it, though she isn’t sure who’d be interested in buying a house with such a noise problem.

“Would I have to price it $100,000 lower to have a buyer come in the door?” she said.

The woman said she wasn’t sure how many roosters her neighbor had and couldn’t be sure if they raised for fighting, but she suspects they are.

Johnston said whether or not the roosters in her complaint are “fighting” roosters can’t be proven.

But that isn’t the point, he said.

“This issue is really more the noise nuisance they create when they’re congregating in large numbers,” Johnston said. “Something more than 10 or 12 birds of this type tend to be a serious noise issue.”

Johnston said it remains to be seen if the most recent complaint is warranted, but in researching what could be done about it, he found a loophole in the law that he’d like closed.

“The point that came out of this is that, in looking at our ordinance, we really have removed our ability to proceed against an operation like this even if we believed it was a legitimate nuisance,” he said. “When we last modified the animal control ordinance …we specifically excluded livestock — and our definition of livestock includes all chickens.”

The woman echoed Johnston’s concern.

“There’s no law regulating (how many roosters they can have),” she said. “They could bring in 300 if they wanted to.”
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