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Raleigh council mulls rooster ban

A discussion of animal control policies led to an unlikely topic for the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday: rooster regulations.

It turns out there’s nothing on the books that prevents Raleigh residents from keeping the birds. But an ill-timed “cock-a-doodle-doo” might run afoul of noise ordinances, and individual roosters could be declared a public nuisance, the city attorney said.

Councilman John Odom said he’s received three calls about noisy roosters in the past year. City staff also received a complaint from the Boylan Heights neighborhood, where the rooster’s owner was willing to work with neighbors and give up the bird.

Odom asked city staff to draft a rooster ban – already in effect in neighboring cities like Cary that allow backyard chickens.

Councilwoman Mary Ann Baldwin said she wasn’t sure new rules are needed. “Do you want to be the rooster killer in Raleigh?” she joked to Odom. “Don’t you think it’s a little extreme to ban roosters?”

“In a city, in close quarters?” responded Councilman Randy Stagner.

The council’s Law and Public Safety Committee will take up the issue again at a future meeting.

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