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Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016

Council talks animal ordinance

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Steve Lamb
Potential changes and additions to the animal ordinance was the main topic for discussion during Wednesday's meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil.

Recent issues with chickens and other farm animals in the city's residential areas have created the need for the council to review the ordinance.

"I may be alone in my thinking, but my belief is if you can say 'E-I-E-I-O' after it, it does not belong in the city," Council President Steve Lamb said. "It should be dogs and cats, and that's it."

When the question about children in the city who participate in 4-H came up, Lamb said he may support an exemption in that situation.

Other ideas were tossed around including limiting the total number of any combination of animals to six, exempting residents based on agricultural zoning and acreage and enacting a rule that all animals must be registered and tagged, but no action was taken in the matter.

"The ordinance is pretty clear on cats and dogs, but there is nothing in there about cows, horses, chickens or other 'farm' animals," council member Brad Deal said. "Personally, there seems to be more of a problem of excessiveness, especially with trash and the smell."

After more discussion ensued about potential changes to the ordinance, the council agreed to put ideas in writing, individually, which will be submitted to City Attorney Bob Pell and to discuss the matter further in the October meeting.

"We're not going to be able to come up with a perfect ordinance that makes everyone happy, obviously," Pell said during the meeting. "But we made a little progress tonight, and will be getting a better idea on how to focus the potential changes."

Meanwhile, the council also approved contractor recommendations for Demolition Phase 2 of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Kenna Consulting and Management Group, Inc., Indianapolis, Vice President Angie Pappano presented the results from bidding on five additional properties to the council.

Biddle Drainage and Excavating, Inc., Terre Haute, provided the low bid on four of the five properties, while Knust Excavating, Inc., Brazil, had the lowest on the fifth. Both companies provided bids on all five properties, while a third company, Reed's Remodeling, only bid on two.

The lowest bids were accepted on all five of the following properties:

* 716 Warren St. -- $1,755 (Biddle),

* 722 Warren St. -- $7,618 (Biddle),

* 815 W. North St. -- $2,866 (Biddle),

* 521 W. Compton St. -- $5,768 (Biddle), and

* 404 W. Hendrix St. -- $15,200 (Knust).

The council also accepted the first reading of an ordinance to place two handicapped parking spaces on east side Washington Street, immediately to the west of the Clay County Historical Society.

Brad Deal
Council members and Historical Society representative Vickie Mace discussed the possibility of painting a blue strip in the area rather than create individual spaces, but nothing was settled as measurements of the area will have to be taken to determine how much space is available, and to ensure the proper clearance from the fire hydrant is given.

Final action on the ordinance will occur during the council's September meeting, which takes place at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 8, in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

Agendas are now being made available on the City of Brazil's web site (www.brazil.in.gov) prior to the meetings.

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I do not live within the city limits but do have some thoughts on this topic having raised livestock and been involved with fly control issues where livestock were housed for over 30 years. I strongly feel that ANY animal waste can be a potential problem if not handled correctly. Whether it's a pet owner not picking up the poop on the sidewalk/lawn, or a huge pile of chicken or rabbit manure in someone's backyard laying out, it is breeding ground for flies, run off issues, and the spread of disease. It goes farther than the fear of salmonella and E.coli as chemical residues are excreted from animals after treatments for parasites and other diseases and those residues can potentially effect wildlife as well as humans. Especially if humans are immunosuppressed or allergic to certain compounds.

I don't see the city's sewer or garbage infrastructure being able to handle large amounts of manure so an approved compost system should be in place at minimum where there are only house lot sized plots of ground with animals housed on them with daily hand removal of fecal material. While a properly functioning compost system can address many of the fecal issues, urine must not be able to escape either as those same compounds may be present there as well. While there are "Doggy Dooley" systems that are adaptable for yard use with 1-2 pets, I can think of none that would be appropriate for use with multiple or large animals.

Respectfully, there are many locations where 4H livestock projects just aren't feasible but 4H as well as scouting projects go far beyond hands on livestock handling and members do not have to own the animals to be a part of a livestock project...They just cannot take part in the submission of an animal for the 4h fair. They can attend meetings as full members, learn about their species of interest, and partner with other members and their animals to help show them at the fair. Maybe not quite like showing their own, but MANY children have grown up never showing an animal via 4H and gone on to work in the livestock arena [I am one of those]. So long as the parents present a positive attitude about the opportunities that ARE available instead of bemoaning the inability of housing an animal, the child will have a positive experience in their exploration of interests during their child hood.

I think to condone livestock in an area with only house lots and no space between yards is to do a disservice to the livestock we as humans are charged to steward, and also to the other human members of the community.

To protect home owner's investments and to encourage future investment, rules must be set in place to protect the integrity of a community member's investments. Only when strict guidelines for the type of animal as well as numbers of animals and rules regarding waste disposal/handling are in place, the city will not be protecting taxpayer's investments.

I would no more want to live next to a yard with junk cars in it than I would one that reeked of animal waste and buzzing with flies so guidelines need to be in place on multiple levels.

Have a good day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 11:31 AM

like what you said Steve.

-- Posted by Tracy Jones on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 10:56 PM

There is a proposal to enact a rule to register and tag the animals. Who would the registration of the animals be placed with? The City? What public official will be sent out to check on each premise and each animal and how often? Who will keep records on each property, the number of animals and the regularity of inspections? How much will these individuals make annually? Does the "problem" require such measures and expenditures? Are you willing to pay additional taxes for this enforcement or lose existing services now so that money can shift over to fund this new program?

Regarding the tagging of animals...Does this mean horses would need tags in their ears like cattle? Does the city realize there are residents with 10 acres or more within the city which easily accommodates animals? Does the city realize that people with E-I-E-I-O type animals already have registered "Premise Identifications" with the Indiana Board of Animal Health which indicate the location of their property and number & types of animals living on it?

What I find interesting is that instead of dealing with the obvious offender who has way too many animals on a small city lot, the city wants to pass broad ordinances. Smelly poo and flies can be dealt with by the existing department of the Board of Health. Can't the city just deal with the offender and leave alone those who are doing things right and caring for their animals?

-- Posted by Claycountian on Fri, Aug 27, 2010, at 11:21 PM

If there aren't rules in place, there is nothing the city can do...Of course if they want to grandfather the rules in so those on large parcels of land can keep their animals, it will may not leave them any room to deal with offender either. Might be better to establish the rules according to size of piece of land instead and limit the number of animals per acre. Many rural subdivisions already do this under various covenants. Covenants however are harder to enforce as then other land owners have to bring a lawsuit against the offender. An ordinance would be easier to enforce as then a fine could be given to offender.

It might be better to rule that the parcel must be a minimum of 1 or 2 acres and only so many animals per acre. Explicit details that make a differentiation between hoof stock, fowl, and "other" [rabbits, mink, dogs] can also be made and further description that separate horses from food animals can also be made to differentiate food animals from companion animals can be made as well as there are entire subdivisions that are horse communities and those can be quite exclusive and bring in a lot of property tax dollars. These allow the usual dogs and cats but only horses as hoof stock and limit the amount of horses according to "lot" size.

The council really needs to think about future situations WAY down the line and not only a band aid for current situation.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 9:06 AM

councilman Lamb- E-I-E-I-O

-- Posted by grays on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 9:17 AM

councilman Lamb- E-I-E-I-O

-- Posted by grays on Sat, Aug 28, 2010, at 9:23 AM

There have been 580 million egg recalled from the commercial egg producer in Iowa name Jack DeCosta. He claims salmonella is in his grain, not his hens. Read The Washington Post article about how he was run out of Maryland for having the same situation occur. He was forbidden to sell his eggs in Maryland due to his hens being sick due to overcrowding which created an environment that was disease friendly. He was run out of Maine before that for the same thing. These days, our eggs are tainted with salmonella, and our beef is being recalled due to e-coli contamination. Lettuce imported from Mexico has had fecal matter found within the leaves due to human poo mixed with water to fertilize the plants. None of these events are new. They are just the latest story of how our food sources have become unhealthy, not only for us, but the animals used to make our food. At a time like this, why is Brazil pushing residents further away from self-sufficiency? Wait until January hits, the recession double dips, and the federal stimulus money runs out. You'll see more chickens in backyards than ever before. In the meantime, I will enjoy healthy golden yolked eggs from my happy and well cared for free ranging hens. This county was made by self sufficient people and will most likely stay that way regardless of what rules may be passed. If people aren't caring for their animals, keeping too many or in dirty conditions, we already have the laws in place to deal with that. Just enforce those laws.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Sun, Aug 29, 2010, at 3:38 PM

The problem here is that there are a lack of laws governing livestock population density within city limits I believe.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Aug 30, 2010, at 10:19 AM

When I lived within city limits, I was not subjected to 'over the limit' domestic animals. When I moved just outside the limits, there was an unemployed family who had a proverbial ZOO on their property. Several starving horses, several dogs, chickens, ducks, calves .. and YES, the property stinks .. and YES, the police were called out (several times, in fact, and are STILL called out because the horses are skin & bone.

I wish this ordinance wasn't limited to the city. Nowhere should animals be in the care of those who cannot afford to house/feed them. I can see the chickens, the ducks and even the calves for food .. but horses?? You can't ride a horse that can barely support their own weight!

If there are laws "out there for that" .. I'd certainly LOVE to see them enforced.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Aug 30, 2010, at 11:25 AM


Population density laws and animal neglect are two different things. If animal welfare is not being taken care of, all you need do is report it to sheriff. Now with all the other crime/drugs/child abuse and neglect issues I do admit that the animals do sometimes take a back seat due to time and money BUT that said if you know about a situation and keep being the squeaky wheel for those animals, something will eventually be done. You say that someone has already been out there...IF the sheriff and humane society have determined along with a licensed veterinarian have determined that even with professional feeding and care advise from the veterinarian, that little or no improvement has been made, THEN call a legitimate rescue org. who will work with the sheriff to remove the animals legally. There is a huge Indiana Horse rescue and they are good to work with.

You are correct. Horses are not allowed to be butchered for food in the US though they are thought of as a good protein source in some other countries. This in fact has made the situation worse for horses as those who couldn't afford to keep them could still get a decent amount for them at horse meat sales to cover at least the cost of hauling them there. Now there is no market so horses who previously could have been killed quickly now must suffer more neglect as irresponsible owners who cannot afford to feed them do not elect to pay euthanize and/or bury them. we now have many horses whose misery could previously have been ended with a well placed bullet and now have to suffer a slow death. even after being rescued, some have permanent damage to organs and never rebound. If you need help with a situation call the state veterinarian's office and they can direct you further if the route you've taken hasn't worked thus far. Those of us have a hard time understanding why animal regulations take a back seat so much. Some times it's someone not doing their job on several levels and sometimes it's just that there is so much to do...We can only try to do our part by giving them a reason to realize it is is more urgent that they think it is. Good Luck.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Tue, Aug 31, 2010, at 12:37 PM

I have a good idea, let all just worry about whats in are own back yard and leave other people alone. Ever heard of live and let live !!!

-- Posted by Thorn44 on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 5:23 PM

When are we going to make people who own dogs and cats have licenses for them to pay for the destruction they cause?? I say this as an animal owner AND lover as if there is a cost associated with having a pet it will weed some out as they will not be committed enough to pay to keep one and pay associated fines then that could be placed on them if their animals AREN'T licensed or kept confined as state laws already state. Enacting license fees that are realistic and stiff fines handed out could PAY for animal over population and in fact would reduce it as some people will only comply when something hurts their pocket book.

When I moved here from VA in 1995 the license for a neutered dog was $8. Second dog, twice that. Even if those fees were grandfathered in for any dog born from now on, we would be ahead of the game, but we never do anything because of the feelings of someone's gramma who has multiple animals. Time to join the rest of the world and stop living in a vacuumn.

Have a good day

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Sep 4, 2010, at 12:04 PM

Whatever happened to this being a free country...Take all your stupid laws and shove them down someone elses throat....deal with the offender and stop blanketing your agenda on everyone so you can get a particular person. Oh, and whatever the person on your agenda did to upset the cart probably is petty as well.

-- Posted by reddevil on Mon, Sep 6, 2010, at 1:33 PM

I have a good idea, let all just worry about whats in are own back yard and leave other people alone. Ever heard of live and let live !!!

-- Posted by Thorn44 on Wed, Sep 1, 2010, at 5:23 PM

THORN, you really don't have a clue, do you?

If you want to have a farm, buy some land in the country away from everyone else and be Old MacDonald there. The problem isn't with those who are responsible pet owners, it's with those who aren't.

-- Posted by Emmes on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 12:05 PM

If you don't want to live next to a farm, move. Property owners have no rights anymore, and even though I have 1 dog, no chickens, or cows, if my neighbor had them, and they annoyed me sufficiently, I WOULD MOVE, not try to pass a law to prohibit him from having them. He is not invading your right to own property, why invade his?

-- Posted by almostfootballfree on Tue, Sep 7, 2010, at 12:19 PM

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