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L.A. council limits roosters to one per household

Members vote 12 to 0 for the restriction, which is designed to reduce the amount of crowing throughout the city. Protests primarily come from the San Fernando Valley.

September 23, 2009|David Zahniser

Hoping to quell the amount of crowing across the city, the Los Angeles City Council passed a law Tuesday limiting the number of roosters that each household can own.

On a 12-0 vote, the council agreed to allow only one rooster per property unless such birds are part of a "permitted and licensed commercial, agricultural or industrial business" -- and on a street with the proper zoning.

Roosters can be heard in a number of neighborhoods, from Wilmington near the harbor to the northern edge of the San Fernando Valley. Councilwoman Janice Hahn, who sponsored the measure, said it would provide peace and quiet to her constituents while helping animal control officers crack down on cockfighting.

"Roosters have their place in this city, but we think having more than one per property causes problems," she said.

Officials with the Department of Animal Services said those who now have more than one rooster can apply for a one-time $50 permit that will allow them to keep two more.

Roosters can be found in some of the most crowded communities near downtown, where nighttime crowing competes with the roar of freeways. Still, opposition to the law has been strongest from the San Fernando Valley, where residents have argued that cockfighting is already a crime in California.

Hahn's ordinance drew support from the Los Angeles Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which described it as a new measure to address cockfighting.

Hahn's ordinance also won the backing of Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who has roughly a dozen chickens at his Mar Vista home and regularly distributes eggs to his colleagues. Rosendahl said he loves the sound of a rooster crowing but conceded that others in Los Angeles may not feel the same way.

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david.zahniser@latimes.com

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