County approves change in livestock ordinance
by Cris Ritchie
HAZARD – Perry County residents who own chickens may want to check their coops, as the fiscal court recently voted to approve the second reading of an amendment to the county’s livestock ordinance.
The county first took up the issue earlier this year when Bulan resident Alma Napier attended the fiscal court’s meeting in March to request a change to the existing ordinance so that it would include chickens. According to statements Napier mentioned during the regular meeting earlier this year, which were backed up by Chief Deputy Tony Eversole with the Perry County Sheriff’s Office, a neighbor was keeping approximately 50 chickens in a yard abutting her house, causing sanitation issues on her property.
Eversole noted at the time that he had personally been to the property, and officials with the state and the Environmental Protection Agency had also been notified, though there was no law on the books officials could turn to as a remedy.
County Attorney John Carl Shackelford advised the court that it could amend the county’s ordinance to address the issue, and noted during the court’s April meeting that that he had evaluated alterations to the ordinance that would solve any issues Napier might have.
The ordinance originally required owners of livestock such as cattle to adequately enclose their animals on at least one acre of land at least 200 feet away from the nearest residence. The amendment the court approved in its second reading, and making it official as of last week, will also require that fowl must be kept at least 200 feet from the nearest residence in an adequate enclosure.
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