DERRY — Town officials are getting closer to voting on rules to keep any wandering chickens or noisy roosters under control.
The Planning Board hopes to vote this month on an updated livestock ordinance that would govern animal owners and how they keep animals on their property.
A public hearing is tentatively set for April 16 at 7 p.m. in the third-floor conference room at the municipal center.
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. It 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.
Code enforcement officer Bob Mackey said the goal was to get compliance from homeowners as often as possible.
Animal Control Officer Marlene Bishop gave a lot of input during the livestock ordinance process and approved the upgrades.
She stated earlier in the process that it was often difficult to enforce the current laws.
Many animal owners do follow the rules, she said. Many others just don’t know what’s allowed when it comes to keeping animals.
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. The updated rules would cover fowl and livestock issues.
Planning Board member and Derry Rep. John O’Connor said the state was also upgrading its definitions for what constitutes livestock.
Planning director George Sioras said Derry has to follow what the state has on the books.
“We have to comply with the state statutes,” he said.
If legal counsel has any other issues with the livestock ordinance updates, the public hearing and vote could possibly be pushed out to early May, Sioras said.