The Brigham City Council had their first discussion about residential chickens on Tuesday March 29. This was their first formal discussion although I have discussed the matter personally with several council members.
The Box Elder News Journal reported in the March 30 edition, "Police Chief Paul Tittensor is concerned about the chicken policy because of the lack of regulations and a punishment in the request."
I don't agree with that since the punishment would be the same as any other punishment for pet owners listed in the current city code. There shouldn't be a need for a seperate punishment for offending chicken owners.
According to the News Jornal Chief Tittensor went on to say, "I don't think Brigham City is ready to have chickens because we don't have the means to provide safety for residents. We only have one Animal Control officer and we would have to hire more."
Here he spoke of two issues, public safety and a budget issue of hiring more staff.
First, "Public Safety": Serious? Safety against pet chickens? I'm sorry, but I think this is just some type of fear tactic...I'm not sure what he is thinking of.
Second, the budget issue of hiring more Animal Control officers; are there really that many of us in Brigham City that more officers would be required? I don't think so. I know laws are for the small percentage who don't practice wisdom and prudence, but I can't see the numbers are very large at all. This is another scare tactic, this time directed at the Mayor and Council. The last thing they want to see is expenditures increase. There is a small part of the ordinance as presented by the planning commission which would require chicken owners to pay a $10 registry fee every two years. I wouldn't classify this as a revenue stream but it is something.
If chicken owners are responsible and follow the ordinance odds are their neighbors won't even know they have chickens in their back yard and there will be few if any complaints. Sharing eggs with your friends can go a long way to promote acceptance.
There was a comment in the article about preventing the spreading of disease. Just like any animal owner, chicken owners would be responsible for this as well. There are MANY websites out there with great resources and information for keeping your flock healthy. Here is one by the USDA. You can download a PDF of a 2011 "Backyard Biosecurity: Keeping Your Birds Healthy" Calendar on their site or directly by clicking on the previous link.