DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

February 6, 2014

Updated Derry livestock rules headed to vote

By Julie Huss
jhuss@derrynews.com

---- — DERRY — Be ready, chickens, pigs and roosters, town officials may update livestock ordinances and that could mean trouble for noisy roosters and wandering cows.

The Planning Board hopes to vote next month on an updated livestock ordinance that would govern animal owners and how they keep animals on their property.

This would be the most recent upgrade of the town’s laws since 2008.

That document, many say, did not spell out enough specifics when it comes to animal laws and how they were enforced.

The process has lasted many months and began after some residents voiced concerns about living next door to noisy roosters.

That, officials say, was enough reason to include a revised “nuisance” ordinance within the regulations to tackle those noisy and other undesirable situations in neighborhoods.

“There are some things that needed to be tweaked,” code enforcement officer Bob Mackey said. “It’s workable and we’ll make good use of it.”

Animal Control Officer Marlene Bishop was a strong supporter of the updated animal rules and gave input during the process.

She stated earlier in the process that it was often difficult to enforce the current laws.

“There are chickens running around the neighborhood, roosters crowing at all hours of the day and night, horses running at large and pigs where they don’t belong in the middle of town,” she said.

Many animal owners do follow the rules. Many others just don’t know what’s allowed when it comes to keeping animals.

Bishop will often talk to residents about potential animal problems and situations are resolved relatively simply. But, at other times, an animal owner pushes the limits as far as they can.

Bishop said it’s just a good idea to put more specifics into Derry’s rules to help her patrol problem areas better.

Derry already has rules on the books to handle dog situations, Bishop said. The updated rules would cover fowl and livestock issues.

The updated rules will also include more definitions on what constitutes “livestock” as opposed to “fowl.”

Mackey said town legal counsel would review the document and make sure all enforceable issues were spelled out clearly.